It’s rare that Denis wants to watch a movie twice. But on Saturday night he called me from the store and said that he had rented this movie for us. I had some trepidation – I remember that while the critics loved it, I read a lot of “regular people” reviews that said it was a bit of a mess.
But I went in with an open mind, curious to know if it deserved to be “Best Picture” at this year’s Oscars. From Amazon’s description:
In this modern-day Western (set in 1980), Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is a Vietnam vet who could use a break. One morning while hunting, he spies several trucks surrounded by dead bodies (both human and canine). In examining the site, he finds a case filled with $2 million. Moss takes it with him and hits the road until he can determine his next move. On the way from El Paso to Mexico, he discovers he’s being followed by ex-special ops agent Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Just as Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is on Moss’s trail, Chigurh’s former colleague, Wells (Woody Harrelson), is on his.
I was a bit dubious at first. This movie certainly doesn’t have the charm of “The Hudsucker Proxy”, “Fargo,” or “O Brother.” This was all-serious from minute one. Josh Brolin did a great job playing Moss, and Javier Bardem was outstanding as Chigurh. I suppose the story was decent – it was just one big chase, really. And not a crazy chase like those in the Bourne movies. This was methodical and a bit plodding at times. But always tense and taut – because the movie was SO QUIET. Really – not much dialogue in this one. So the buildup was wholly visual.
Having said that, I don’t know that this movie deserved Best Picture. I can’t give an honest opinion on that since I haven’t SEEN the other nominees, but going on how I felt after “No Country,” I don’t know that I would have come out of a theater gushing “This deserves an award!” Also, the last scene with Tommy Lee Jones telling the story to his wife? Totally pointless. Denis kept trying to figure out the “deeper meaning” of the story Jones’ character told. And I said, “There IS no deeper meaning, dude.”
3 1/2 jars of milk out of five.
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