Friday, February 29, 2008

No Country for Old Men

If you browse the blog you will notice that I haven’t write about this movie even when I saw it a few months ago. I found difficult to write about this movie as I believe it is a good movie but in a genre that I find difficult to write. See this is no regular drama this is like an old fashion western without horses and I not particularly like westerns.

I liked 3:10 to Yuma because I found it very tense and liked the good performances by both leads with characters constantly interacting. Here you have basically three lead roles Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and Lewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) that hardly interact among themselves, each is a character that goes his own way (like in the book) with several role reversals between the hunted and the hunter.

To me Bell is a lament about fate, age, time and life; Chigurh is a metaphor to violence as Moss is to greed. The complete movie is an allegory about the American society being rooted in violence since unmemorable times. So I ask, what is to like about this story and consequently the movie?

Then I have to say that the movie as a movie is flawless. Everything is almost perfect here, cinematography, camera, lights, casting, art direction, scriptwriting, directing, (etc.), and most of all lead actors performances.

Speaking of actors I question to all that have seen the movie does Javier Bardem has a supporting role? My answer is a rotund NO. He’s one of the leads and perhaps his character is the main lead character along with other lead characters like Bell and Moss. I know that for some unclear reason when you have actors ensembles all become eligible for supporting roles, but gee Bardem does an extraordinary performance as a lead actor and I would have loved to see what could happen if the race for the Academy Best Actor award would have been between Day Lewis and Bardem.

Anyway even when Jones and Brolin have excellent performances too, Bardem steals the movie and just try an imagination exercise if you do not agree with me. Think about this movie with another actor in Bardem role… hmm there are a few Coen Bros favorite actors like George Clooney, Tuturo and others. Do you picture any of them as the incredible Anton Chigurh Bardem performed, even when you put them the crazy hairdo? My rotund answer is no and I conclude that the movie would have been VERY different.

Obviously I enjoyed the movie a lot because Bardem creepy, chilly and somehow scarier that any horror-movie character I have seen mesmerized me. Without him the movie will have gone in my oblivion very fast. I’ll never forget Anton Chigurh thanks to the amazing performance by Bardem.

This is a multiple award winner movie including the 4 Oscar’s it got. But it is impressive the winning strike Bardem had for this role with something around 20 wins as Best supporting actor. According to the IMDb and including the Oscar’s the movie has 81 wins and 31 nominations. It is impressive that a good movie with a terrible (for me) story gets so much recognition from peers and industry.

I imagine that by now most of you have seen this movie, but if you haven’t I say that is best suited for those that like contemporary westerns, flawless movies –for all tech and non-tech aspects- and love Americana with introspections into their own violent society.

P.S. Of course I gave my Oscar to There Will Be Blood, which I find it is a superior film among the ones that were nominated.

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