10 January 2008

No Country For Old Men preview

The Coens return to form. An adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel-for-cinema. More Miller's Crossing and Fargo than Big Lebowski and O Brother in its humour. With a twist...

Tommy Lee Jones' performance as a sheriff trailing Javier Bardem's psycopath/ force of nature sums up what for me works about this film: 'It is hard to do wisdom without pomposity, or probity without preening, but Mr. Jones manages with an aplomb that is downright thrilling'. Indeed and indeed. But he also does it with humour, amused by his deputy's alarm and innocence, a bit meta sad at his own character's overwhelmed-by-how-fucked-the-world-is sadness, enunciating McCarthy's Old Testament quotations, it seemed to me and the occasionally chortling (no other worrd for it) ICA crowd at the preview, with a keen, fun knowingness. That extra element that means NCFOM pulls off its weird, controlled admixture of absurd plus terrifying.

Fun fun fun.

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