No Country For Old Men, cowboys
Another two films crossed off the watchlist, in hindsight both very enjoyable despite my lack of knowledge in the genre.
Down In The Valley, I’m never sure whether to capitalise small words in a film or song title, is about a guy (Ed Norton, obviously) in the present-day San Fernando Valley who thinks he’s a cowboy. It’s a bit weird.
He starts off as a nice, friendly gas station attendant, and as we watch we see how he is actually quite delusional and, as it turns out, a bit dangerous.
The fact that he somehow remains the good guy in the eyes of his girlfriend, who he shoots, and her little brother, who he kidnaps, is a bit odd, but the main antagonist throughout the majority of the film is the father.
Before the aforementioned shooting and kidnapping, the dad is an angry sweary abusy type, and we all hate him. Then he turns up and finds his daughter shot and son missing and we start to sympathise with him.
It’s a hard film to categorise; it’s too modern to be a western, not really a thriller or an action film. There are a couple of shocks in there, and no big stupid over-hyped twist, just a slowly evolving, or devolving, main character. The girl is also called October.
I’m not a big fan of westerns, but I also watched No Country For Old Men over the weekend. The plot of that film is rather more immensely convoluted.
Essentially, there’s a sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones), a hitman (Javier Bardem) and a welder (Josh Brolin). The hunter finds $2m at the scene of a drugs deal that went wrong and left everyone dead. The hitman is hired to recover the money and the sheriff attempts to apprehend both of them.
Javier Bardem is the hitman who is frighteningly devoid of compassion, and also seems to have the ability to evade police capture for multiple murders.
There is a pretty shocking death in this one, not the suddenness of it but rather the callousness in which it is delivered. A major character is killed off-screen by insignificant players in the film. It’s true to the novel, but a noble death scene wouldn’t have gone amiss.
I must include the coolness of the motel scene where Brolin and Bardem are just a room apart, yet Brolin manages to escape by being very clever and using the room on the back of his to switch the money through an air vent.
There are a lot of other clever plot devices, and I think it’s cool that none of the three main characters share any screen time. That’s according to IMDb, and they do interact at points.
The ending is the most abrupt ending ever, which I liked. It just cuts to black and the credits roll after a speech from Tommy Lee Jones, so it leaves a lot to the imagination as to what happened to everyone. Nearly everyone anyway. The cattle gun oxygen tank thing Bardem’s character uses is also super cool.
So two films later here I am. Both good, No Country For Old Men was really good. At some point I’m gonna have to watch The Invention of Lying though.
Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack