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No Country for Old Men: what was i supposed to think?

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No Country for Old Men: what was i supposed to think?

Old 12-08-07, 01:57 PM
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No Country for Old Men: what was i supposed to think?

can someone explain this movie?

I swear I have no idea what I'm supposed to think about it? was is supposed to be some allegory for modern life versus the past? Does it have something to do with being tied down, determinism versus free will?

Because as a cop/bad guy movie, I feel really let down, so there's gotta be something more that I missed.

I am not arguing the dialogue, nor the essential plot, but I have no feeling of closure, and I feel that I should. Was there supposed to be any? What was I supposed to take with me when I left the theater (other than my twizzlers wrappers)?
Old 12-08-07, 02:07 PM
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Supposed to think? No one can tell you that, only you.
Old 12-08-07, 02:17 PM
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Is something wrong with the existing thread, where people have already discussed this at length?
Old 12-08-07, 03:48 PM
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I've seen lots of discussion of mood and performance... so if that's all there is, then I guess feeling "let down" is the best I'm gonna get.
Old 12-08-07, 03:55 PM
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I think McCarthy is trying to express how the present is getting worse, violence and morals. What I found from the film was a metaphore for death. The way it just keeps on coming, never letting up. That is what Bardem's character represents. But then the movie shifts to Jones' character. And I think it shows that he too cannot excape this idea of unhopeful death. By the end of the movie he is acknowledging the fact that the past is always gone and the present will always look worse when death looms closer and closer.

That's my take on it.
Old 12-08-07, 03:58 PM
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That it's bad now, and it's constantly getting worse.
Old 12-08-07, 04:28 PM
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I think it's a pretty bold theme like the line that Morgan Freeman says at the end of Seven.
Old 12-08-07, 04:49 PM
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Strangely enough, a high-profile movie like "No Country for Old Men" that has been out for several weeks already has a lengthy discussion thread. You can read seven pages worth here.
Old 12-08-07, 05:17 PM
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You're supposed to think that Javier Bardem is the "Ultimate Bad-Ass".
Old 12-08-07, 06:19 PM
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if you didn't think or feel anything then maybe the movie just didn't resonate and therefore you don't have to think in anyway except it wasn't for you. re-visit on dvd and maybe you will get a better understanding of what a great movie this is...or not.

no one can tell you what to think or feel, they can maybe explain the movie better, but it shouldn't make that much of a difference if you didn't feel "it" upon viewing. it happens.
Old 12-08-07, 07:17 PM
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You are supposed to reflect with appreciation that you didn't live in the time of the bubonic plague.
Old 12-08-07, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dlinke01
I think McCarthy is trying to express how the present is getting worse, violence and morals.
I disagree. I think the movie makes the point that things have always been bad, just that it takes age, experience and wisdom to perceive the true tragedy of violence and choas. Anyway, I think we agree that the movie's actually about Tommy Lee Jones and the Brolin/Bardem storyline is almost allegorical.
Old 12-08-07, 07:56 PM
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The whole story is allegorical. Have you read the book? It is very clear in the book that he wants his audience to understand that no one like Chigurh(?) has ever walked the earth until the present day. He is just a metaphore to how bad times have gotten. The movie made me think about the metaphore of death. None of the characters can escape it except Chigurh himself. I actually thought the movie was better than the book. McCarthy has done better.

Edit: In the book, the beginning of chapter 7 says it all.

Last edited by dlinke01; 12-08-07 at 08:20 PM.
Old 12-08-07, 11:52 PM
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metaphor about death... that helps a lot, thanks. I hadn't thought about Chigurh escaping death, I thought he was finally being punished for the path he was on.
Old 12-09-07, 02:44 AM
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I think everything that movie was trying to capture could have been captured better with a tighter plot and characters that resonated more. See: Lebowksi, The Big or Crossing, Miller's. This story just didn't work out for me, and I feel like when I'm arguing about it, it's always with people who a) have a strong affection for the book or b) we're so desperate to have this be an all-time great, they would considering having great parts to be enough to be a great movie.
Old 12-09-07, 04:16 AM
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I feel like people who think this film was somehow lacking, either in plot or characters or something else, are approaching the film from a viewpoint of a standard Hollywood, wrap it up at the end thriller, where the protagonist prevails or is exonerated and the antagonist gets his comeuppance. This is essentially a film noir plot, where in the end, everyone loses and there are a lot of unanswered questions for the audience and for the characters as well. One of the reasons I think the film worked was in how the guy you are rooting for the most dies horribly, the bad guy gets away and Tommy Lee Jones' character is left questioning himself and the world he realizes he's living in now. To me, the pieces fit, you just need to be willing to let go of all of the obvious plots and endings that we are all so used to.

Also, can't we just merge this thread with the other one; there's no difference in discussion between the two.

Last edited by FinkPish; 12-09-07 at 05:01 AM.
Old 12-09-07, 04:55 AM
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Chigurh = death. Death is inevitable.
Spoiler:
The scene near the end where Chigurh is talking to Llewelyn's wife. She says she doesn't want the coin to decide her fate it's just him that decides. It's a moving scene where you think just for a second that he might show some remorse that he may reveal some characteristics of being human but alas there is none to behold. It fits that he gets away at the end and in a sense that Tommy Lee Jones' character survives too as he never saw Chigurh.


I think it's the kind of movie will become a cult classic.
Old 12-09-07, 09:06 AM
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Sorry that last post came a little off kilter.

Fink pish -- I understand your approach, and came up with pretty much the same conclusion about the point of the movie as you (though I'm almost surprised that my interpretation was THAT close to people who seemingly know what they're talking about. I'm also capable of liking some pretty out there stuff, and even knew a lot of what was going to happen beforehand. Still, I thought the strands could have been more connected and the same point could have been made better. A little bit more of a mood, some more foreshadowing, etc. I also thought the characters could have been more worthy of my caring. By our interpretation, I don't see any reason why Josh Brolen's character couldn't have been an irritating Circus Freak and Tommy Lee Jones' character could have been the greatest albino baseball player who ever lived. Nothing about their characters were important, and you could have made the same theme, the same alleghory, with those characters representing a lot more than human fodder.
Old 12-09-07, 12:41 PM
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the reason I started this thread was because I couldn't find the answer to this specific question in the other thread amidst all the "I can't wait to see it"s... even the pro reviews didn't tell me if there was something else going on, but the explanation about "Chigurh = death" is really useful in helping me understand the characters and events. Now I can recommend it to someone without saying, "I'm not really sure what was going on, but there's some good dialogue and violence."

This thread helped me to understand; the other one didn't. Thanks.
Old 12-09-07, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by harrydoyle
Sorry that last post came a little off kilter.

Fink pish -- I understand your approach, and came up with pretty much the same conclusion about the point of the movie as you (though I'm almost surprised that my interpretation was THAT close to people who seemingly know what they're talking about. I'm also capable of liking some pretty out there stuff, and even knew a lot of what was going to happen beforehand. Still, I thought the strands could have been more connected and the same point could have been made better. A little bit more of a mood, some more foreshadowing, etc. I also thought the characters could have been more worthy of my caring. By our interpretation, I don't see any reason why Josh Brolen's character couldn't have been an irritating Circus Freak and Tommy Lee Jones' character could have been the greatest albino baseball player who ever lived. Nothing about their characters were important, and you could have made the same theme, the same alleghory, with those characters representing a lot more than human fodder.
To me, creating really specific characterizations in this sort of film would have been inappropriate. All the characters were essentially archetypes: the rancher, the sheriff, the killer, the business man, the hired gun, etc. What happened between them was inevitable once things were set in motion, and having various details about their characters brought into play would have just gotten in the way. I'm all for character development, but not in every case. I think this is one of those films where that wouldn't have served the story; I can't imagine I would have liked Moss any more if I had known something about his past or known some weird quirk he had that made him special. For myself, I don't need to have some personal connection to every character in order to understand what they are going through.
Old 12-09-07, 02:08 PM
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^^^ well said.
Old 12-09-07, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FinkPish
I can't imagine I would have liked Moss any more if I had known something about his past or known some weird quirk he had that made him special.
He does all types of welds!
Old 03-19-08, 08:15 AM
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One thing that really threw me was the car crash at the end. What was the purpose of that scene? You can't stop death, merely slow it down? It didn't show him walking away with the money either. Had he already returned it?
Old 03-19-08, 08:18 AM
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Turtle fetish aside, this is an extension of the dark film noir - look back to Don Siergel's EXCELLENT version of "The Killers" with the awesome Lee Marvin. Compare him to Chigurh with Chigurh being The Next Step or Phase 2 of the heartless killer. Almost amoral.
Old 03-19-08, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
One thing that really threw me was the car crash at the end. What was the purpose of that scene? You can't stop death, merely slow it down? It didn't show him walking away with the money either. Had he already returned it?
I think the car crash was to show that no matter how well you have things planned, no matter how unstoppable you seem, something as trivial as a guy running a stop sign could end all of that. Everyone is vulnerable.

It doesn't say who gets the money because I don't think the Coens particularly cared. The money, by the end of the film, isn't important at all.

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