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No Country for Old Men Review


No Country for Old Men receives an unbelievable 10 out of 10 stars over at The Coen boys has knocked one clean out of the ballpark.

Having recently watched Kubrick’s The Shining, I am reminded that sometimes suspense and atmosphere is more effectively generated by stillness and deliberation than aggressive, emphatic style. Ironically, that technique is more often the rule than the exception with movies that really scare or disturb me, since younger audiences seem to respond primarily to acrobatic camerawork or bombastic editing. But suffice it to say I look at myself as part of a largely bygone era of moviegoer, where imagination rather than exposition drives my interest in the all-important “what happens next.”

That’s certainly not to say that the decision to avoid expressionistic cinematography or quick-cut editing doesn’t constitute a style of its own, merely that a more subtle approach sometimes proves equally effective. And the Coen brothers, themselves acclaimed purveyors of directorial flourish, have elected in an era of overwhelming style to adopt a “less is more” technique for their latest film. No Country for Old Men surely ranks among the best films of the year, as much for the decision to stay true to Cormac McCarthy’s (author of the source novel) dusty, barren landscapes (both visual and emotional) as the fact that its outward simplicity belies a complex and deeply resonant tale of humanity coming to terms with its past, present and future.

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In Theaters: November 9, 2007

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