Best Picture Reviews: No Country For Old Men

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Joel Coen & Ethan Coen are probably the most well known directing duo. Getting along with a sibling is one thing, but making a movie together is something else altogether. Especially if it was a movie good enough to win Best Picture of 2007, which might be one of the best years in film history. On top of the Best Picture winner, we have Juno, There Will Be Blood, Atonement, The Diving Bell & The Butterfly, and Once. (Oh, and the movie that has now officially become my favorite film, as I’m sure you’ve heard.)

The film is a cold and calculated look at criminal life. Personally, I found that the film had a lot of atmosphere and it was really clever how the Coens focus on what you don’t see rather than what you do. They really build up the darkness that humanity is capable of.

Essentially, Tommy Lee Jones’ character is pure good, Javier Bardem’s is pure bad but Josh Brolin’s is somewhere in between. And most of the film compares and contrasts these three men. As a matter of fact, I almost wish that the movie focused more on Brolin rather than squeezing him to the sidelines to make room for the other two characters.

Of course I have to talk about Javier Bardem’s performance. Anton was a great villain, managing to be the perfect mix between an unstoppable badass and just a miserable drunk. He seemed pathetic at times but he had this drive and that made him scary. Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones both offer up very good performances as well, and Kelly MacDonald really nails her final scene.

I guess I feel that the film had impossibly high expectations because it was supposedly the best film in a year full of amazing films. Upon initial watch, I am left a little underwhelmed, but I might like it more when I re-watch it. I think that the overall message of the movie is that there is always good and evil in the world, but what matters is which side there is more of. A well-made film with a good message, but I do resent its Best Picture win a little bit.

****1/2

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