Sunday, November 27, 2011

No Country for Old Men

Every time I have honor of seeing No Country for Old Men I can't believe what I am seeing. It is rare to see something so completely perfect. It is beyond bizarre that a movie such as this would evoke a response like this, but honestly, as I watched it this afternoon, I could not help but think what a delight it was. Lovely! Beautiful! Dear!

I admit this is sick and wrong. It is wrong! Yet, have you seen this movie? There is as much humor and homedown charm as there is blood, guts, and terror. The Coen brothers have well established themselves as weirdos with a fine sense of the macabre balanced against the endless hilarity of the human condition (see Raising Arizona, Fargo) but they took it to a new, completely sublime level with No Country for Old Men. It is impossible to gauge how fiercely I love this movie, despite whatever nihilistic, pessimistic, sadsack haters are out there in the reviewersphere. It IS a dark movie. More shocking, it is a movie set in 1980, in Texas. How could it be? Nihilism in Texas? This is certainly a new thing.

It isn't. Ask any movie buff, historian...or, let's face it, human, and you know that while grim, it's not a lie. It's what happens. Happened. Will happen. The obvious and sickening point is that this is the human condition, still braining each other with a mammoth bone. It is a bummer. But it is the truth. If you've gone to sleep to the sound of gunfire, you have to know this is just the way it goes. Duck.

I love that Texas patios. It is both authentic and prestinely conveyed in this small capsule of a movie. Having lived in Kansas for my formative years, even in Texas for one of them, I know the familiar chatter, asking where you're from, what you're hauling, who your fambly might be. This exchange bit me to the bone:

Everyone celebrates Javiar Badem, and I agree, but I truly believe Tommy Lee, Javier, and Josh Brolin should have won joint awards for best actor that year. I know there was a nomination for Tommy Lee Jones for another role he played during that Academy Award season, but GOD, did you see him?? Watch the gd movie again, please. PLEASE. His performance was beautiful, nuanced, and special. Even if he didn't walk away with the biggest honors, he surely must know what a fine job he did on that film. Perfection.

Nihilism. Sure. Whatever. Read The Road and I assure you that tops it on the scale of nihilism and negativity. You'll cry your heart out while wanting to stab yourself in the face. At least in the world of No Country for Old Men you can stand back, watch the backsplash, and hope you aren't one of the unfortunate few standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. At the very least, you have to learn that your life is worth more than 2 million dollars. Seems sweet in the short term, turns sour in the longterm. Have you found a satchel of cash? Leave it! Put a trip to Las Vegas on your Visa card and GO. Bet the minimum, drink the maximum, sun in the merciless light of the desert and be glad you got away with -$200 in the bank and a pink nose.

Ain't no Sugar casing your joint.


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