Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh
Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald
RunTime: 2 hrs 2 mins
Released By: UIP
Official Website: http://www.nocountryforoldmen-themovie.com/
Opening Day: 14 February 2008 (Exclusively
at GV Vivo, Plaza and Grand)
OUR REVIEW OF THE ORIGINAL "NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN"
The story begins when Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) finds a pickup
truck surrounded by a sentry of dead men. A load of heroin
and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When
Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic
violence that not even the law - in the person of aging, disillusioned
Sheriff Bell (Jones) - can contain. As Moss tries to evade
his pursuers - in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips
coins for human lives (Bardem) - the film simultaneously strips
down the American crime drama and broadens its concerns to
encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary
as this morning's headlines.
Good films need not be enjoyable movies. Take Joel and Ethan
Coen’s latest work for example. It is definitely not
as accessible and agreeable as, say, a summer blockbuster,
a date movie or a chick flick. But there is a reason why films
like this neo-noir thriller are getting acclaim at major film
awards, while your enjoyable popcorn movies aren’t.
Of course, there is also the issue of genre. Academics refer
to “neo-noir” films as motion pictures which depict
contemporary themes of conflict, amoral values and utilize
unique camera angles coupled with striking light and shadows
the above description of “neo-noir” isn’t
your cup of tea, then you probably do not share the sentiments
of the 90-odd per cent of movie reviewers out there who feel
that this film is a masterpiece.
on Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel, the Coen brothers’
film follows a hunter as he discovers a bagful of cash totaling
more than two million dollars and a stash of heroin together
with some dead bodies in 1980s Texas. He runs with the cash
and pursuing his trail is a psychotic killer and an old sheriff
who has seen times a’ changing over the years. The film
then becomes a dark tale of moral values gone wrong and violent
culture gone awry.
film strikes you in many ways. The sparing use of music underscore
throughout the film gives you an uncomfortable sense of despair
– the silence is almost deafening in some of the most
gripping moments. The sparse and arresting cinematography
is a testament to how effective film language and visual communication
can tell a gripping story without having too much dialogue.
The faithful adaptation to McCarthy’s bleak novel showcases
well-crafted protagonists which will go down film history
as some of the most compelling characters ever created.
talking about characters, reliable actors like Josh Brolin
(the hunter on the run) and Tommy Lee Jones (the world-weary
sheriff) are a joy to watch. But the show belongs to Javier
Bardem’s creepy murderer with no conscience whatsoever.
His awkward bob of hair and his frighteningly sinister portrayal
of the killer have won him almost every supporting actor trophy
at awards out there. We are saying he is very likely to be
a shoo-in for the Oscar at the upcoming 80th Academy Awards
too. You can also place expect this film to bag other awards
in the seven other categories it has been nominated in, like
Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography.
nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, there is some really
dark humor and uncomfortably funny lines in the screenplay
written by the directors themselves. You chuckle and laugh
because this may be a defense mechanism for the intensity
which is too much for you to take. Sequence after sequence
of sheer tension will exhaust you mentally. They keep you
at the edge of your seat, as you see Brolin hiding from Bardem
behind a closed door. You see shadows moving across the door.
You see the lights go out. You hold your breath. It’s
gripping and not exactly a pleasurable experience, but you
can bet you haven’t felt so much suspense in the cinema
for a while.
(A taut and dark thriller that makes for a fine piece of cinema)
Review by John Li