Film Reviews

No Country For Old Men

A Paramount Vantage Production
Out Now

This years critically acclaimed piece of cinema goes to the Coen brothers much-anticipated No Country for Old Men. The brothers were quick to point out that they are now at the peak of their career, adapting Pulitzer Prize winner Cormac McCarthy’s dark and weary tale about Llewelyn Moss, a man who stumbles across a wad of stolen drug money, and in deciding to keep the money, is forced to run and hide from Anton Chigurh (ironically pronounced Sugar), a relentless and psychopathic killer.

It is not a typical western; it is set in the desolate stretch of Texas in the 1980’s. It’s a sad and isolating story with stunning landscapes that mirror the bleak situation. As it starts to look gradually more likely that Moss and his wife wont live to profit from the stolen money, Moss’ wife seeks help from the local Sheriff. The fatigued Sheriff Bell cannot avoid comparing what’s going on in his town now, to good old days. And he is constantly reminded of a time when the sheriffs didn’t carry a gun. Bell obviously doesn’t agree with Moss’ actions but he understands why he would do it. The whole film plays on this attitude towards honour, survival and greed.

No Country for Old Men is a nearly perfect movie, one of the better Coen Brothers’ productions it’s the most thoughtful and sincere piece of work about the essential problem of being human. Regardless of it being an adaptation and not their own written film, it still carries the Coen Brothers weight.

Although it falls into the category of a Western hunt, No Country for Old Men definitely challenges the standard and the boundaries of the genre. Its quirkiness and humour only comes from the human need to find light in any situation. A quality brilliantly portrayed by the Coens. Possibly their most violent and yet humane contribution to the film world yet. It embodies everything great about the Coen brothers, depicting the qualities they’ve picked up from their other great works; Fargo and Blood Simple to name a few.

A brilliant and disturbingly bleak look at the actions of being human and the weight that follows the choices you make.

Emily Paget