Netflux “No Country for Old Men”

Every year, when they do the Oscars, I have to add a few of the top films to the Netflix queue.  Last year it was The Departed, this year, No Country was among those so chosen.  These have a bit in common, as they are among the most violent of the Best Picture winners out there.

One of the main themes of the film seems to be that the times are getting more violent.  All throughout the film I was wondering how often real crimes of these types are committed, essentially killing sprees.  I don’t think it’s quite so many as the movies would have you believe.  I’ve always bristled at the notion that things are not as safe as they used to be, and that notion was used throughout to help anchor the story.  As the movie progresses, though, some of the characters do mention that it was always this way in the West, so that redeemed this problem for me a little bit.

As a western, the story strangely fits.  I think the basic story itself could have been constructed in such a way that it would have fit in any locale, but all the elements of the classic western genre made it more poignant, especially the vast vistas early in the film.

The cast is definitely star-studded, and excellent.  Even minor roles were played like they were major.  A few characters who only had a few scenes were as compelling as was humanly possible.  I had a “Hey! It’s that guy!” moment with Garret Dillahunt, except I didn’t know what he had been in (I found out later that it was Deadwood and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).

The ending of the movie I did not find compelling.  I think maybe I just didn’t understand it or go deep enough into the subtext to understand it.  Even though I didn’t get it, I felt like I wanted to get it.  When Tommy Lee Jones talks, you listen.

All in all it was pretty good.  If you don’t mind violence in your movies, I would recommend it, because there are so few movies out there worth watching.

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