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Archive for the ‘Watching’ Category

No Country for Anyone, Really…

Posted by mandyhuckins on March 24, 2008

Last week, someone in Colin’s office rented No Country for Old Men and then kindly allowed us to watch it before it needed to be returned.  What a terrible movie!  What kind of world do we live in where this wins the Academy Award for Best Picture?   I will admit that the actors did a remarkable job (I am especially partial to Tommy Lee Jones), which is all well and good, but can someone please explain the point of this picture to me?  Usually, I am a pretty avid movie watcher, but I have to admit that I have not yet seen the other films nominated in the Best Picture category.  However, I am willing to go out on a limb and say that I would have voted for any of the others over this one.  Here are the things I hated about it the most:

1.) The ending.  If you haven’t seen it, and you plan to [although, of course, I don’t recommend it], stop reading right here.  In some instances, I am all for an ambiguous ending.  It is entirely appropriate to leave things hanging when everyone knows the story is to be continued in a sequel (Lord of the RingsStar Wars, or Harry Potter, for example) or when it is more fun for the viewer to use his or her own imagination to finish out the story.  Do the lovers reconnected at the end of the movie live happily ever after?  If you are a romantic, yes.  If you are a realist, maybe not.  Fine.  But, this movie didn’t end, it just stopped.  I don’t like that.  I suffered all the way through it for a conversation between and old man and his wife at the breakfast table?  What happened to the bad guy?!?!

 2.) Lack of character development.  Ok, ok, I admit that a dark, serial-killing, cat-and-mouse chase over money kind of movie doesn’t lend itself to much character development, but who is this killer?  What is up with the air/bolt gun? What is his motivation for taking his weird weapon into the world and killing everyone with it?  I felt like we needed to know a bit more about him to buy him in this weird role.  Llewelyn’s character is slightly more fleshed out – his prior history in the military, the fact that he is married and has a shrew of a mother-in-law – and that makes us care about him until…

3.) Llewelyn is killed.  I admit that it is an interesting twist that the good guy, or not good exactly, but the one we are rooting for, doesn’t win.  That is not what bothers me.  The problem is that it just happens and we don’t even get to see how it happens.  After all of the chasing and shooting of each other, the viewer isn’t included in the final show down?  Now, don’t get me wrong, normally, I would be all for subtlety and an avoidance of an overt show of blood and violence, but in this movie?  Come on.

Ultimately, I just did not find any real redeeming qualities in this movie.  It was interesting in its way and I can see how it might appeal to the blood and gore loving crowd, but in my humble opinion, Best Picture quality it certainly is not.


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