Tuesday, May 23, 2017

No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Men was the film that won best picture in the year of the masterpieces, though only competing with fellow "masterpiece" There Will Be Blood in terms of the actual Oscar nominations. The film is notable as it finally brought Coen brothers their Oscar wins for picture and director, although this came with only their second adaptation of a source material, and really the first since O Brother Where Art Thou was heavily altered from the Odyssey. Despite being an adaptation of it is in no way truly a departure for them with the filming of opening monologue directly alluding to the opening of their first film Blood Simple. It technically is bit more serious even in terms of their dramas though they still find ways to bring forth their trademark humor, though often through very subtle, very dark methods. These are most often small pauses or slight actions such as when Javier Bardem's serial killer Anton Chigurh almost chokes on what he's eating, when hearing the gas station attendant he's playing a life and death game with married into his gas station. Those moments, which are through out, provide the Coens touch in perhaps the most overt fashion but that is not all there is in terms of their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's bleak novel. The efficiency and effectiveness of their work is remarkable, while outside of one curious factor. That curious factor being the set decoration which in no way alludes to the story's 1980's setting, which is a bit strange for a Coen brothers film. However every other technical element is immaculate, but never at a distant. Whether that is Roger Deakins's, again, incredible cinematography creating such a beautiful yet desolate and foreboding Texas, or the incredible, almost scoreless, sound design the Coens take these elements to craft such a such a tension filled thriller. The film though comes into question though in its end result which is of nihilism rather than the technical optimism of a different type of thriller. The Coens's work does not lose their style but rather amplify the theme through the dread filled reality they create within the film. Although it is not my favorite Coens brother film or film from 2007 it is a remarkable film in its right as well as a fascinating stretching and alteration of the directors' usual style.

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