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Cannes 2007.4: The Coens and Texas

Cannes 2007.4: The Coens and Texas

Just saw the highly anticipated Coen brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Truly fantastic. It’s a moody, panoramic, and violent look at a bloody chase through West Texas and North Mexico. In many ways, it recalls their first feature, the Texas-set Blood Simple. But more than that, it also features parallels to the underrated Miller’s Crossing and past Cannes prize-winner, Fargo. There are the typical Coen traditions: dry humor, brutally unexpected violence, and small-town crises. An excellent cast is anchored by Javier Bardem as the evil Anton, a killer so mysterious and malicious, he also burns like a comic book supervillain. With his air-gun and Prince Valiant haircut, he’s the epitome of a cold-blooded killer.

Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones round out this blood triangle, as men haunted by their roles in life. It’s in many ways a film about living up to what’s expected of us, perched atop Jones’ opening narration about what it means to be a sheriff. What is expected, ultimately, is carnage. The execution of which, is feverishly original and incredible. But all the while, the film rolls along like those West Texas towns (it was shot primarily in Marfa) where nothing much happens until the day where all hell breaks loose.

I loved it. Meanwhile, if you have nothing to do around noon CST/1 p.m. EST, I’ve been asked to co-host the red carpet coverage for No Country for Old Men‘s gala premiere tonight, over at IFC’s Cannes Cam page.

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