No Country for Old Men

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“No Country for Old Men” is a thriller film of 2007 directed by the brothers Joel ed Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. It’s a psychological thriller which mixes elements of crime and noir, and received great critical and commercial acclaim, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (for Javier Bardem) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The plot of the film revolves around Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin), a Texas hunter who, while on a hunting trip, discovers a murder scene among drug traffickers. Moss finds a briefcase containing two million dollars and decides to take it, thus starting a series of violent events involving lethal and ruthless characters.

The central character of the film is Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem), a psychopathic killer who follows Moss to recover the money. Chigurh is known for his relentless attitude and for using a blowgun modified into a sort of execution weapon. His presence in the film is a key element in creating tension and a constant sense of imminent danger.

The film explores profound themes such as fate, violence and morality. It presents a ruthless and cynical view of society, where greed and corruption seem to prevail. The story is told in a non-linear way and focuses on the evolution of the characters, highlighting the fragility and unpredictability of life.

“No Country for Old Men” is known for its impeccable staging, painstaking direction by the Coens, outstanding performances by the cast and its dark and oppressive atmosphere. The film is an investigation into the dark side of the human soul and the violence that can emerge in extreme situations. Its complex and engaging storyline and open ending fueled debates and differing interpretations among viewers.

“No country for old men” is a film that has left an indelible mark on the cinematographic landscape. It is a high-impact psychological thriller that offers a profound reflection on human nature and its gray areas.

Plot

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The plot of “No Country for Old Men” follows the story of Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, a Texas hunter who stumbles upon a murder scene between drug traffickers during a hunting trip in the desert. Moss finds a briefcase containing two million dollars and decides to take it, hoping to improve his financial situation.

However, Moss soon becomes aware of the danger he has brought upon himself. Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem, a ruthless psychopathic killer, is assigned to recover the money. Chigurh goes on the trail of Moss, leaving behind a trail of violence and death. Moss, aware of the threat Chigurh poses, tries to escape him and protect his wife, Carla Jean, played by Kelly Macdonald.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, played by Tommy Lee Jones, begins investigating a string of murders involving Moss and Chigurh. Bell is an aging sheriff who is confronted with the increasingly violent and senseless nature of the crimes he is investigating. Bell’s character serves as a narrator, reflecting on his experience and the social change he has observed over the years.

The story builds with a crescendo of tension as Moss and Chigurh engage in a deadly game of cat and mouse. The film explores themes such as fate, morality, violence and greed, highlighting the fragility of human existence in the face of the brutality of the world around them.

Without revealing too many crucial details of the plot, “No country for old men” concludes with an open ending that leaves viewers a lot of interpretative freedom and stimulates reflection on profound issues.

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Movie Characters

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“No Country for Old Men” features several memorable characters. Here are some of the main ones:

Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin): He is the film’s protagonist, a Texas hunter who stumbles upon a murder scene and decides to take a briefcase containing two million dollars. Moss becomes Anton Chigurh’s target and he desperately tries to survive.

Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem): He is a ruthless killer and psychopath who is tasked with recovering the money stolen by Moss. Chigurh is known for his relentless attitude and for using a blowgun modified into a sort of execution weapon. He is an enigmatic and disturbing character.

Ed Tom Bell (played by Tommy Lee Jones): He is the senior sheriff of the county where the story takes place. Bell investigates crimes related to the stolen money and tries to protect Moss. He is a thoughtful and wise character, representing the old guard in an increasingly violent and meaningless world.

Carla Jean Moss (portrayed by Kelly Macdonald): She is the wife of Moss, who finds herself caught up in the dangers generated by the situation. Carla Jean is a courageous and devoted woman who tries to protect herself and her husband.

Carson Wells (played by Woody Harrelson): He is a bounty hunter who is hired to track down Moss and recover the money. Wells is a shady character with his own interests, who comes into conflict with Chigurh.

These are just some of the key characters in the film. There are other minor characters as well who contribute to the plot and atmosphere of the film but these are the ones who play a more significant role in the story.

Production

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“No Country for Old Men” was directed and produced by brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy, published in 2005. The Coens wrote the screenplay for the film, taking cues from McCarthy’s novel, but making some changes and adaptations.

Production on the film was handled by their production company, Scott Rudin Productions, in conjunction with Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films. Cinematography on the film was handled by Roger Deakins, a longtime collaborator of the Coens and known for his outstanding work in the field of cinematography.

The cast of the film included such talented actors as Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss, Tommy Lee Jones as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh and Kelly Macdonald as Carla Jean Moss. The actors’ performances were critically acclaimed and contributed to the film’s success.

“No Country for Old Men” was filmed primarily in various locations in New Mexico, United States. The Coens chose these places to create the arid and desolate atmosphere of the Texas desert described in the novel. The cinematography of the film made the most of the wide landscapes and earthy tones of the region.

The film premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival where it received a very positive reception. Subsequently it was distributed in different parts of the world, achieving considerable success both with critics and with the public. It has won numerous awards, including four Academy Awards in 2008, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The production of “No Country for Old Men” was a work of great craftsmanship by the Coens and their team, resulting in the creation of a unforgettable movie and intensely cinematic.

Distribution and Reception

“No Country for Old Men” was released in theaters on November 9, 2007 in the United States. The film then had subsequent international release, hitting theaters in many countries around the world.

The critical reception of “No Country for Old Men” was overwhelmingly positive. The film was praised for its screenplay, the direction of the Coen brothers, the performances of the actors and the dark and intense atmosphere it managed to create. Javier Bardem’s performance as Anton Chigurh was critically acclaimed, earning him numerous accolades and awards.

Awards-wise, “No Country for Old Men” was a big hit. It won four Academy Awards in 2008, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem) and Best Adapted Screenplay. He has also been recognized with numerous other awards, including the BAFTA, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and Critics’ Choice Movie Award.

Commercially, the film achieved good success at the box office. With a production budget of approximately $25 million, it grossed over $170 million worldwide, becoming one of the Coen brothers’ most successful films.

“No Country for Old Men” has also left a lasting imprint on popular culture. The film’s memorable performances and quotes have become iconic, and its complex and ambiguous plot has sparked discussion and analysis among viewers.

“No Country for Old Men” was a film that garnered huge critical acclaim, won multiple awards, and did well at the box office. It became one of the Coen brothers’ best known and most influential films and further cemented their reputation as extremely talented filmmakers.

Style

The style of “No Country for Old Men” is characterized by the distinctive signature of the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, who are known for their unique sensibilities and creative approach to cinema.

The film features a dark and oppressive atmosphere, created through a combination of visual and sound elements. Roger Deakins’ photography makes the most of the vast desert landscapes of New Mexico, using earthy tones and natural light that amplify the feeling of isolation and desolation. The shots are studied with care, capturing significant details and amplifying the tension of the scenes.

Carter Burwell’s score is minimalist yet extremely effective in setting the mood of the film. The use of sparse music and silences is meant to heighten the sense of suspense and uncertainty.

The narrative of the film is characterized by a slow and contemplative pace. The Coens take the time to develop characters and delve into themes, without rushing to a quick resolution. This helps create a sense of constant tension and unpredictability, as the viewer never knows what to expect.

The writing and dialogue are crisp, with a touch of dark humor that is typical of the Coens’ style. The dialogues often reflect on the nature of humanity, fate and morality, offering food for thought.

Another key element of the film’s style is the use of violence. The violent scenes are portrayed realistically and crudely, without sensationalism or glorification. The violence is shown as brutal and meaningless, which further underlines the main theme of the film.

Overall, the style of “No Country for Old Men” is characterized by attention to visual details, dark and tense atmosphere, sharp writing and complex characters. This distinctive style of the Coens helps make the film a unique and unforgettable cinematic experience.

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Curiosities and Anecdotes

Here are some trivia and interesting anecdotes about “No Country for Old Men”:

Javier Bardem who plays the role of Anton Chigurh won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film. Bardem became the first Spanish actor to win an Academy Award in the category of supporting actors.

While shooting the film, Javier Bardem decided to add Anton Chigurh’s signature gesture, which is the sound of a coin being twirled in the hand. This gesture became an iconic element of the character and helped create additional tension in his scenes.

The character of Anton Chigurh was inspired in part by the figure of the serial killer Carlo Gustavo Chiodi, known as “The Monster of Florence”. The Coen brothers have stated that they have become interested in cases of criminals who appear to lack a sense of compassion and have a distorted view of the world.

Cormac McCarthy’s novel, on which the film is based, is written in a particular style that does not use the traditional use of quotation marks for dialogue. The Coens chose to keep this feature in the film’s script, thus creating an unusual and distinctive dialogue structure.

The film’s title, “No Country for Old Men,” comes from a line in William Butler Yeats’ poem “Sailing to Byzantium.” The verse reads: “That is no country for old men”.

During the scene in which Anton Chigurh talks to a clerk in a clothing store, the actor playing the clerk had never read McCarthy’s novel nor knew his character’s fate. This made the scene even more authentic, as the actor had to improvise his reactions when faced with Chigurh’s threats.

The film is known for its open and ambiguous conclusion, which has sparked different interpretations among viewers and fueled discussions about its true intention. The Coens intentionally left the end open to stimulate reflection and allow the audience to draw their own conclusions.

These are just some of the curiosities and anecdotes related to “No country for old men”. The film is full of interesting details and elements that make it even more fascinating and discussed by film enthusiasts.

Director

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The director of “No Country for Old Men” is the duo of brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in St. Louis Park, Minnesota while Ethan Coen was born on September 21, 1957 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The two brothers have worked together for most of their film careers, directing and producing numerous successful films.

Joel and Ethan Coen are known for their distinctive style and unique approach to filmmaking. Their works span various genres, including thriller, the black comedy, crime and western. The Coens’ films are characterized by dark humor, sharp writing, eccentric characters and attention to visual detail.

In addition to directing, the Coens frequently wrote their own film scripts, while also adapting existing literary works. In the case of “No Country for Old Men,” they adapted Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name for the big screen.

The Coens’ filmography includes numerous hits, including “Fargo” (1996), winner of two Academy Awards, “The Big Lebowski” (1998), “Burn After Reading” (2008) and “Hail, Caesar!” (2016), to name just a few. They have received numerous accolades and awards during their careers, including four Academy Awards for “No Country for Old Men.”

The Coens are considered among the most influential and acclaimed directors of the contemporary film scene. Their creative collaboration has resulted in original and memorable films, which are distinguished by their artistry and storytelling.

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