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No Country for Old Men: That Pesky Ending

No Country for Old Men: That Pesky Ending

I’m having big debates about No Country for Old Men, especially the ending. If you’ve read the Cormac McCarthy book, you know that the Coens have done a very faithful adaptation, which McCarthy admires. [SPOILER ALERT] The duo was attracted to the very things that make the movie unconventional: a major character dies, and the forces of good don’t triumph over the forces of evil at the end.

At my book group Tuesday night (where we had a spirited discussion about Flaubert’s Sentimental Education) we agreed that the Coens’ No Country for Old Men will persevere and endure and may even land an Oscar best picture nom because it is about where we are now. The point of the movie is that the good sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones with sad weariness has never seen so much implacable evil and does not know if it is possible to conquer it. Is Javier Bardem’s Chigurh real, or a ghost? I think he is very real. And he represents all the evil in the world that will not stop, will not rest.

Alec Baldwin blogs about the movie and Javier Bardem at The Huffington Post. Nora Ephron hilariously debates the movie with her partner in The New Yorker.

Glenn Kenny lays out the movie’s issues with the ending at Premiere.com. Now I’m really confused.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

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