No Country for Old Men

by Benjamin Domenech on 2:25 am January 11, 2008

>> I am amazed at how faithful the Coens are to the original text of No Country for Old Men, which is a pretty convoluted story in its own right. The dialogue is almost verbatim. The two areas where they part with the book noticeably are in the hotel room (anyone who’s seen it will know which scene I’m talking about), and in the order the events leading up to the end take place. They move the scene with young Mrs. Moss to later to emphasize its emotional impact (and they make it ambiguous with the cut, and the absence of a weapon, where as the book just says what happens). The ending has sparked some debate, among film buffs and others, but the point is still made: this is a fantastic and well-made film about living under the shadow of death, knowing what’s coming for us all, and finding it unavoidable, yet still living and going on. Absolutely what we’ve come to expect from the Coens. A simple example: when Llewellyn flees initially, chased by the crazed dog, he swims the river. Functionally, for the story, it’s his River Styx, the dog his Cerberus. It’s truly rare to see a film that echoes of Ecclesiastes and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” all at once.

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