MOVIE REVIEW: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD FUCKERS

I saw the new Coen brothers movie.  No country for old fuckers.  It’s a beautiful movie.  I love the way they inhabit different parts of America.  Fargo.  Depression era deep South.  Arizona.  And in this one, they really capture the desert, the colors and the heat and the language and the moral code, the fabric of life in this corner of the world.  And at this point, Tommy Lee Jones face is like a piece of incredible scenery.  It’s like the craggy rocks with all their creases and crevices in the sunbaked tableau of the West.  He just seems so authentic to that part of the world.  And javier bardim is unfuckingbelievable.  For my money, not that I’m putting any on the line here, but if I were, that is the performance of the year thus far.  And his chosen weapon of destruction is so unique and beautiful and poetically violent.  Air.  Josh Brolin, the guy who finds the money, was also quite great.  As was his girlfriend/wife, Kelly McDonald, from Trainspotting and gosford Park.  As usual the brothers Coen got superb performances out of every one.  It was gorgeous to look at, it was suspenseful, the soundtrack was excellent, a fantastic meditation on good and evil, chance and fate, wisdom and bravery, it was such fun to be securely in the hands of masters.  That being said, I felt let down by the end of the film.  Actually, let down is a gross understatement.  One of my pet peeves is the unsatisfying ending.  I hate it.  It leaves such a toxic taste in my mouth.  When I say satisfying ending, let me be clear, I don’t mean it has to be happy, that everything has to work out peachy and keen.  But that can be just as unsatisfying, when its false.  In Thelma and Louise for example, they fly off the cliff to their deaths together.  But it’s so satisfying.  It all makes such beautiful sense.  And it’s so lovely and yes, I’m going to use the word again, poetic.  But the freres coen, imho, left out a couple of crucial scenes.  After following this guy who finds the money through the whole movie, I am rooting for him to escape evil.  They have proven to me that he is a worthy hero to follow.  A hero full of flaws, which you want your heroes to be, but a scrappy resourceful hero.  The whole reason he got into trouble in the first place was that he tried to bring water to the shot-to-shit dying man.  An act of kindness and charity.  What Jesus would have done.  So I have followed him throughout the whole story, but when it gets to the ultimate moment, the climax, the payoff, that scene is missing from this movie.  I hated that.  Same thing when Tommy Lee Jones walks into the room and nothing happens.  It rankled me.  I think it’s bad storytelling.  I hate it when people try to tell people how to make their books or movies or art.  But I also hate it when a storyteller leaves out the climax of their stories.  I want to see the movie again, to determine whether I will feel as angry and unsatisfied, so like a lover who is brought to the brink of climax and then shut down cold, rode hard and put up wet, left with artistic blue balls.  But having seen it once, that’s my opinion from the clear blue sky and the deep blue sea, that’s my two cents worth.  And with inflation, I owe you one.

About David Sterry

David Henry Sterry is the author of 16 books, a performer, muckraker, educator, book editor, activist, and book doctor. His first memoir, Chicken, was an international bestseller, and has been translated into 10 languages. “As laconic as Dashiell Hammett, as viscerally hallucinogenic as Hunter S Thompson. Sex, violence, drugs, love, hate, and great writing, what more could you ask for?” – The Irish Times.
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply