This is a film review that can’t be considered timely by any definition. The primary reason for that fact is that I do not relish viewing contemporary movies because they are just plain not as good as movies made in the Golden Age of Hollywood. “No Country For Old Men” is a film created by the most celebrated producers of the modern era that won Picture Of The Year honors for 2007. Since it was so well received and it happened to be on TV, I invested the time to view the film.
The setting of the film is a small Texas town where the sheriff is a weak old man (Tommy Lee Jones) who is the victim of a culture that is degrading before his eyes. After a drug deal went bad and resulted in pile of dead bodies and an unclaimed fortune, the sheriff appears helpless. However, an average citizen (Josh Brolin), who happens to be the only likable character in the movie, has the guts and the resourcefulness to stand up to the career criminals for a period of time. The assassin played by Javier Bardem is the most intriguing character in the movie, mostly because he seems to be omniscient and indestructible.
The point here is said to be that the world we know is being overtaken by a chaotic, violent new reality. The thing is, it does not really reflect a reality that most of us can relate to, so the message is lost on me. I suspect many people watched it because it was made by the Coens, which means lots of graphic violence, an engaging plot, and dark comedy. Except this film wasn’t funny. Like many productions of our era, the plot ends abruptly and all sympathetic characters are extinguished. I know that was in a way the point, but I’m afraid the fact that this movie won accolades says more about the decline of American culture than it does about the quality of this film.