This ain’t Fargo.
At the beginning, it feels similar (using some of the same conventions: scenery as a character; characters that have been born out of that scenery — as an alternative universe within the US), but the ending will leave you far less…well, I won’t say. No Country for Old Men is a riveting movie, one that has a unrelenting anxiety level and unadulterated violence (I’d make the case that this is more violent than Fargo).
And while there are similarities to Fargo, No Country is more complex, operating on various levels — so much so that a single viewing wouldn’t be enough. As not wanting to fill this post with spoilers, I won’t spill many of my theories here though I’m tempted to just for myself — so in the years to come I can see how close I came to getting a read on this puzzle.
There were a lot of angry people when the movie ended. A lot of WTF moments because if you blink, you’ll miss it. And while I hate to say ‘they didn’t get it’…they didn’t but I don’t blame them, nor did I 100% ‘get it’ (I’d say I was around 50%) but this movie percolates far after you’ve left and that ending was right.
If you found the Sopranos unsatisfying, then you’ll be tossing your popcorn at the screen for No Country (though the Sopranos, ultimately, DID have the perfect ending…but I don’t want to spoil that either).
I haven’t seen There Will Be Blood…but I find it hard to believe that anyone could take the Oscar from Tommy Lee Jones playing the Sheriff of a small town in Texas. And Chigurh (the embodiment of not just death, but evil, I’d suggest) definitely deserves consideration. Don’t I just feel silly…TLJ isn’t even nominated for this movie…it’s for another movie he’s in. Oops.
This is not an easy movie. Nor is it particularly satisfying with easy answers. I haven’t gotten on the Oscar bandwagon in years, but I think I might have to watch all the Best Picture nominees simply so I can see how No Country will fare.