No Country For Old Men Review GCSE

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No Country for Old Men review.                                    By Sophy Meah

No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American thriller written and directed by brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.  

A pitch-perfect thriller that delivers the pleasurable fear and suspense expected of the genre.

First of all, take the title literally: this is No Country for Old Men. It may be no country for any life form more evolved than a Mexican lizard (we're talking West Texas here.)  The landscape is as bleak as the moon's dark side and its relatively few inhabitants lead lives that are scrubbed down to the basics. That is to say, it is pretty much kill, or be killed in the Coen brothers version of the austere novel.

 We're in West Texas, 1980. Vietnam veteran, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) appears out hunting pronghorn (a type of deer - just to let you know) in the desert down by the Mexican border. However, in the distance, there seems to be carnage: torn-apart trucks; corpses of men and dogs; the bloody bodies of others who’d be better off dead and a case packed with cash: about two million dollars. With no witnesses, and confident he can handle himself, Moss opts to keep what’s clearly payment in a drugs-handover gone awry. Trouble is, psychopathic hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is hired to find the loot and begins carefully hunting the hunter, in turn pursued by veteran sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), who can’t help feeling that the world is turning more crazily violent. This is when the cat-and-mouse chase begins.

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The Coens meticulously select the most filmic moments of McCarthy’s  gripping book novel; they trim the sheriff’s nostalgic reveries and enhance the action. Their achievements (it must be said) of trying to embellish the action was phenomenal. Miraculously, they  transformed the novel into a full-blown piece of drama, full of  vivid, plausible characters.  

Talking about plausible characters, the performances from the cast were all uniformly superb, but Javier Bardem stood out. The eyes are drawn to his portrayal of a twisted sickness that he manages to convey in his cold, sunken eyes and callous demeanour. Great job, Javier, ...

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