Sunday, May 18, 2008

"No Country For Old Men"

It was to feed anticipation for this that the IFI screened a load of old Coen brothers films. I take it you have seen this tale of a man who thought he could out-run an implacable killing machine. It was a pretty good film, but maybe not that good a Coen Brothers film. I find it hard not to think that the Coen Brothers well has run dry, with this film being adapted from a novel (as their next is scheduled to be) while their last was a straight remake and the one before scripted by someone else. As film nerds, the Coens have always borrowed and incorporated plot ideas and elements from other films, but they were at least putting them into their own stories or synthesising something new out of the constituent parts. It seems now, though, like they are unable to generate their own plots and have to rely on others to do this for them. Oh well, I'm not as cool as I used to be either.

On the film itself, I fundamentally liked it. Like all Coen films, it looked great, largely thanks to that guy who does their cinematography. The main thing I did not like about it was a plot element apparently taken straight from the novel – the off-screen killing of the Josh Brolin character. This seemed basically like poor cinema. Having said that, this might well have been the only thing I did not like about the film, so it still merits a high 2-1.

You would think people in films would learn that if you ever find a huge amount of money left somewhere, the thing to do is leave it there and peg off as quickly as possibly before phoning the cops. But no.

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