Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

No Country for Bad Taste.

So I saw No Country for Old Men last night for the second time.  As before, it was fantastic, but this time I saw it with a bunch of people.  Now, I get that people have different tastes in film, in art, etc, but I respect some of those differences and (if we’re going to be honest) I judge for some of those differences.  That’s right.  Now I don’t judge on the big things, but I’ll tell you the truth.  If someone thinks a film like American Beauty is a piece of crap, I lose some respect.  There are very few things that are like this, but recently I’ve found a new one.  It’s No Country for Old Men.I get that it’s not a typical film.  But that’s really what makes it so awesome.  It’s really not a typical Coen Brothers film, and even though I love the Coen Brothers, that’s another thing that makes the movie so awesome.

So here’s the real deal.  A bunch of the people I saw the movie with said ‘what’s the point?’  No Country doesn’t really make it’s point like most movies do.  I mean, the underlying theme of the film is really truly underlying.  And everyone sort of zones out during Tommy Lee Jones’ final speech because they don’t know it’s his final speech, but that is where the whole point of the movie is.  I mean, it’s a movie about how an older generation becomes obsolete.  Yeah, it’s not happy.  Yeah, it’s almost taboo.  But you know what, like American Beauty, it’s a film that outlines an inherent truth, that at a certain point (this was even more true for Vietnam Vets in the ’80s) the older ways of functioning within a particular area of society out grow the older members of that same social demographic.

I think why I take such offense to people who don’t like the film is that, much like the book, which was also amazingly brilliant, the point is not splayed out, not spoon fed.  You don’t know much about the characters, just that they’re interesting, and you want to know more.  You don’t know who the real villains are, just that they are omnipresent.  I love that you have to work for the film to make sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fun movie.  I mean, you all know that my favorite movie is Clueless.  On the other hand, I also like when I have to work a little bit for a movie.  You know, like when art actually makes you think…I mean, isn’t that kind of the point?

I have to say the other reason I get really peeved is that many of the people that hated this movie are the ones that say they don’t want movies that are too realistic.  I mean, why do you need to see real life on screen, isn’t real life depressing enough?  I don’t know, I really don’t know what to think about that.  I really don’t know how to react to that kind of logic.  I mean, that’s like saying that the Mona Lisa should have never been painted, the statue of David never been made because we all know what real people look like.  And I’m sorry that’s just not a good argument.  I get that there are times for the realistic movies and times for the fantasy.  And as I have said before I’m a big fan of romantic comedies, which are complete fantasy.  I also see the importance of art being honest and real.

So here’s the deal.  See the movie, like, don’t like, just don’t tell me there’s not a point to it.  And do me a favor.  Read the book and see what an amazing adaptation the film is.  Then watch as the Coen Brothers win Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture…and watch Javier Bardem win Best Actor.

Peace, Love, and Chigurh,

Julia

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December 9, 2007 - Posted by | Awards Shows, Books, Coen Brothers, Hollywood, Movie Reviews, Movies, Politics

2 Comments »

  1. Kudos to you! I am the same way with films, and this one is way at the top of my favorites list. Dare I say I may have even liked it better than Fargo? I’m still on the fence. Even if I had not gotten the point, I had to appreciate the genuine suspense of the film, the complexity of the characters and the utter absence of a soundtrack telling me how to feel. What’s the point? Art is the point. Beauty. Truth. Realism. That’s what I want in a film. Keep up the good work!

    Jess
    http://www.lieblingartcrafts.wordpress.com

    Comment by lieblingartcrafts | May 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. I kind of got the same vibe from There Weill Be Blood, actually.
    I love that movie and forced my dad’s family to watch it with me. There was silence as the credits rolled, broken only by stepmom saying, “…That’s IT?”
    “What’s it?”
    “That’s the story?”
    “Uh… yeah?”
    “So, what was it about? What was the point?”
    “I dunno; IT was the point. DDL was the point. His struggle against his nature, against himself.”
    “I didn’t like it.”

    I guess some people just don’t geddit.

    Comment by taysticles | July 31, 2009 | Reply


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