Thursday, November 22, 2007

Jason watches "No Country for Old Men"

I know, it's Thanksgiving and I should be with family and/or friends, watching football, drinking beer, and eating way too much. But crack addicts don't take a day off just because it's a holiday (they're like farmers), and neither do I. Besides, I'm going to a friend's place in a little bit.

Anyway, "No Country for Old Men" is an excellent movie, just like all the critics have been saying. The Coen Brothers are officially forgiven for "Ladykillers" (if I were more cynical, I'd also forgive them for "Intolerable Cruelty", but I actually liked that movie a lot even though the critics and Coen fans didn't). No need to rehash the plot, you can read about it anywhere. It's bloody. It's deliberately paced to the point that the tension gets unbearable--and then it breaks. But the tension transcends the characters (who are just as rich and idiosyncratic as befits a Coen Bros. movie), and becomes a tension between heartfelt characters (even Javier Bardem's psychotic killer has a code of ethics and just a hint of pathos) and a completely heartless universe. As much as Tommy Lee Jone's sheriff believes that crime is much worse these days, the cold fact is that there's always been horrible crimes committed by horrible people, and the universe doesn't care. And that's what the movie is about. If I could sum it up in one sentence, it's this: Even if everyone in the universe cares about you, the universe itself still doesn't.

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