I didn't love this movie when I was sitting through it. But I have a feeling that if I saw it again, I'd like it more than I did the first time. I think I might have messed myself up on this one. I started reading the book right before seeing the movie. That might not have been the best idea. I also had read 2/3 of it before seeing the film. It is at the 2/3 mark that the story's tone takes a definite turn. So maybe my mistake was that I should have read the whole book before seeing the movie.
Either way, I wasn't prepared for the last third of the film. I was waiting for a bang-up ending but that isn't what the story ends up being about now does it? I can live with Cormac McCarthy's decision to change the tone of the story and turn a pulp thriller into something a bit more quiet and a bit more contemplative. Kind of ballsy actually. But it threw me for a loop as I was watching the movie.
Anyway, this movie is definitely a huge step up for the Coens but that isn't hard to do after The Ladykillers. In fact, this film reminded me a bit of Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan, an adaptation of a book as well. This was the first book adaptation for the Coens.
No Country For Old Men fits well alongside Blood Simple as well. The dialogue is great. It is very faithful to the book but what the Coens add is even better than what was in the book. Some of the scenes rank up there with the best of any Coen Brothers movie. The casting was amazing. Javier Bardem is scary as all get out. Tommy Lee Jones continues his recent interesting run of acting choices. If you haven't seen The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, you should.
After the odd choices of The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty (which to be fair wasn't really their movie and also a movie that I have not seen) it is nice to know that the Coens are back doing interesting work.
By the way, the worst time I completely ruined a movie for myself was when I read the entire movie picture book of Return in the Jedi that I received in my book order a few days before the movie came out. I tried not to read it but I couldn't help myself. And then I was completely disappointed in the movie. Oh well, that movie sucked anyway though right?
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen