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No Country for Old Men

USA 2007
produced by
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin, Robert Graf (executive), Mark Roybal (executive) for Miramax, Paramount (Paramount Vantage)
directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
starring Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, Rodger Boyce, Beth Grant, Ana Reeder, Kit Gwin, Zach Hopkins, Chip Love, Eduardo Antonio Garcia, Gene Jones, Myk Watford, Boots Southerland, Kathy Lamkin, Johnne Hector, Margaret Bowman, Thomas Kopache, Jason Douglys, Doris Hargrave, Rutherford Cravens, Matthew Posey, George Adelo, Mathew Greer, Trent Moore, Marc Miles, Luce Rains, Philip Bentham, Josh Meyer, Chris Warner, Brandon Smith, Roland Uribe, Richard Jackson, Josh Blaylock, Caleb jones, Dorsey Ray, Angel H.Alvorado, David A.Gomez, Milton Hernandez, John Mancha, Scott Flick, Elizabeth Slagsvol
screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, music by Carter Burwell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In the middle of the Texan desert, Llewellyn (Josh Brolin) finds the fresh remains of a bloody shootout which apparently noone but one person (Eduardo Antonio Garcia) has survived, and he's on the verge of dieing and begs Llewellyn for water. Llewellyn, just passing through, has of course no water, but he soon figures the whole action was about a big load of drugs and two million Dollar in cash. And while Llewellyn has no need for the drugs, he happily takes the satchel of money to afford a better life for himself and his wife Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald), who are nothing but trailer trash, actually. However, Llewellyn is not a total badass, he has something resembling a conscience - unfortunately for him, because once he has hidden the money in his trailer he returns to the scene of teh crime with a bottle of water, to give it to the dieing man ... not such a good idea, since there have been some developments since the last time he was there, like the drugs being gone, the man being shot, and Llewellyn all of a sudden being hunted like an animal by some unknown gangsters - and he only makes the narrowest of escapes ...

Suddenly Llewellyn realizes that taking the money and meddling with affairs that have nothing to do with himself was not such a good idea, however he is also reluctant to let go of the two millions in cash - so he sends his wife to her mother (Beth Grant) and hides out in a cheap hotel, taking all sorts of precautions to deal with even the worst ... and the worst is of course to happen, as those after the money have hired Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) to get it back, only Anton is not only an extremely effective and versatile hitman, he is also a completely bonkers psycho killer killing friend and foe alike - and now he has got his hands on a tracer that will lead him to the transmitter hidden among all of the money.

When Llewellyn finally realizes there's a transmitter in his satchel, it's almost too late, and in a hotel he and Anton have a violent shootout that leaves them both gravely wounded. Despite his injuries, Llewellyn manages to hide the money in no-man's land between Texas and Mexico and makes it over the border, where he is almost immediately hospitalized - and wakes up to look right into the face of streetsmart bounty hunter Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson), who has been sent after Anton Chigurh to relieve him of the money (once he has it), and Wells tries to make a deal with Llewellyn - but when Llewellyn, still in pain, finally decides to accept his offer, streetsmart Carson Wells has already been violently taken out by Anton, who is once again very close to Llewellyn - but he's not just a psycho, he's also smart enough to know that he can't kill him before he gets his hands on the two million Dollars, because psycho or no psycho, this is a lot of money. So he makes a deal with Llewellyn: If he hands him over the money, Anton lets Llewellyn's wife Carla Jean live - not that he has her in his power, he just knows where she is. He promises not to spare Llewellyn's life though, because killing is just what he does ...

Llewellyn appears to accept the deal, but then he once again tries to outsmart Anton and tries to meet up with his wife in El Paso ... Carla Jean meanwhile was clever enough to realize that Llewellyn has goten into something over his head, so she informs her hometown sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) about his whereabouts and asks him for help, because whether Llewellyn likes to admit it or not, he needs all of the help he can get. However, when the sheriff arrives at the El Paso Motel where Llewellyn is presently hiding out, he has already been shot dead, and Anton has gotten his hands on the money after all. And suddenly the sheriff feels very old, in more ways than one ...

Meanwhile, Carla Jean's mother has died too, and when Carla Jean arrives home from her funeral, she finds Anton waiting for her. Now of course, Anton doesn't have any concrete business with Carla Jean anymore, he already has the money and Llewellyn is already dead - but he's a man of principles and since he has promised to spare Carla Jean's life only if Llewellyn delivers the money to him and Llewellyn didn't - well ...

Funny though that after he has killed her, Anton, who always covers all the angles, is gravely injured in a trivial car accident he is at least partly to blame for ...

 

Finally the Coen brothers are returning to top form: No Country for Old Men is easily their best film since The Big Lebowski, mainly because they are once again doing what they do best, which is to make crime dramas based on strong screenplays full of surprises with an ironic twist that even tends to make the occasional violent outbursts hilarious. Plus like most Coen brothers films, this one is full of strong character actors who all seem to have been born to play the roles they play.

I actually can't say anymore than hgihly recommended !!!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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