No Country for Old Men is the best movie I’ve seen from the Coen Brothers. Naturally, it’s about a psychotic killer with a high-pressure air gun looking for stolen money, and another guy who stole the money running from the guy with the air gun.
I normally don’t care much for the way the Coen Brothers use lethal violence in their movies, but in this case it’s fascinating and compelling because it’s so cinematic. It’s a pleasure to watch the craftsmanship that goes into it. And it’s not all for show. The images and the subtle details work together to create a story and a weird reality that takes you for a ride and leaves you thinking, “What the hell was that?” It’s a crime drama, a thriller, a comedy and a morality tale, and it’s entertaining. (A detailed analysis and discussion of the film on Jim Emerson’s Blog.)
I wish I’d seen The Fountain in a theatre. It deserves the biggest screen you can find. It’s a film I know I’ll have to watch again to fully appreciate. Even now, though, I’m still amazed by it. It is an existential mediation, a surreal yet very real exploration of love and grief and life and the universe and everything.
From the DVD Talk review: “While acknowledging that The Fountain may not suit everyone’s fancy, I still advocate that everyone should see it. Darren Aronofsky has written a script that is philosophical, spiritual, and emotional, and he has somehow dressed it up in truly gorgeous clothes without disappearing up his own behind in a fit of pretentiousness. Working with marvellous performances by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, the director has made a movie that is both a heady rush and emotionally powerful, giving us a feast for our eyes while also stimulating our brains and our hearts. A very rare treat.” What he said. (And check out Jim Emerson’s blog for further commentary on the film.)