Movie of the Week: No Country for Old Men (2007)

The Coen Brothers direct Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones in this western neo-noir thriller where a Vietnam vet with a case full of money, an assassin with a nihilistic code and a cautious lawman find themselves in a deadly chase.

One of the finest films ever made – expertly cast, right down to the one line characters, and somehow looking like both a comic book fantasy and a mundane reality in every shot. Thank you Roger Deakins… master of twilight cinematography and roadside dryness. The stalk and kill sequences have a compelling beauty to them. They click over with a well oiled mechanism’s certainty and precision, kinetic set pieces in fatalism. Carter Burwell’s atonal score scrapes all hope from the proceedings – one pause or wrong move and there’s nothing but cruel nature and fate out there. Cormac McCarthy’s dark musing on mankind is given room to breathe – the third act is one of the strangest yet most memorable in mainstream cinema. Leaving a simple plot abandoned full of questions, maybes and unseen grim certainties. Blackly hilarious too. When you aren’t glued to the screen in danger, you are chuckling at the poor gormless side characters just trying to get on with their day, oblivious to the maelstrom we are in. Perfection. “Call it, Friendo!”

10

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