20 November 2007

No Country for Old Men

The attention to detail in this movie is absolutely astounding. Its just incredible, the meticulousness of it, and well suited to the film's graceful subtlety. You may be surprised that I describe such an unrelentingly violent film as subtle, but that's exactly what it is, and the extreme nature of the gore in it only serves to highlight

What I really loved about this movie way in which it coupled a kind of hardcore, grittiness with a down-home story spinning. It's amazing, the way it manages to balance the taut tense thriller mode with a drawling yarn kid of style. So you alternate between on-the-edge of your seat scenes and slow rambling ones, and the contrast is exquisite.

There was only one weak moment in the film and that was towards the end, a rather painfully predictable car accident. It was clumsy, not just because of the overdetermined way in which it was depicted visually, but also because of the way it seemed sort of inevitable in a narrative that plays with the idea of contingency and accident. It's odd, actually, in that it's the kind of thing that to me, who has spent a whole lot of time reading about narrative and determinism, seems like sledgehammer symbolism, but for most people will probably seem totally random. So I suppose it's not a really valid critique, and I guess I actually kind of appreciate the way it illustrated the kind of thing I've spent a lot of time reading about, but all the same, in a movie that was mostly marvelously new and surprising to me, it was a bit of a let-down.

All in all though, amazing acting, great story, wonderfully complex characters and some badass hardcore ultraviolence makes for one hell of a movie.

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