For a long time, I thought 2005’s Crash was simply one of the best modern films made. It was a reasonable story, with a a cast of imperfect characters. It was just good. I felt Syriana and The Kingdom did well in educating viewers (who may not have been aware) of the true costs of oil. OK, well No Country for Old Men has joined that short list for me. So many themes, and facets packed into just a few hours. IMDB tells me it won 4 Oscars, and 83 other awards. Not to mention the 36 other nominations. I saw exactly why.
The cinematography was perfect, with beautiful shots of wilderness. The film didn’t flinch at night shots, which many films fail at. The lack of music was a plus – forcing me to wait on the next possible break in silence. More or less, it forced you to actually live in the moment. As to say, even in war, your moments are filled with waiting… waiting for the actual act.
As for the cast, I have never seen such a succinct and disturbing portryal of true psychopath in a long time. Anton Shigur’s (said psychopath) every step is based simply on the concept that fate has brought him to make that step. Making his madness something very… special? A truly amoral being. Killing as the result of a coin toss… or in fact, not killing based on the same toss. The odd thing is even to the end, it seems as if he is right (you’ll see). It caused me to look at almost every moment of the movie, thinking, “Wow, what if?” For example, look to the beginning of the movie: What if Llewellyn didn’t go back the give the dying man water?
Some how, in all of the violence, and death, there were spots of true comedy. How this was done, who knows. I don’t know if that was in Cormac McCarthy’s novel, or the Coen brothers added it. But either way, genius. To some extent, this reminded me of the The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Except none of main characters ever really share a scene. Another facet that made the film even better. Even if this movie was just half as good as McCarthy’s novel, he’s clearly in the upper echelon.