4/5/14: No Country for Old Men (2007)


Inside each of your packages today, you’ll find “your lucky quarter. Now, all of you: Do as I do! [Taking a quarter from the envelope in my package, I flip it, catch it & cover it with my hand] Call it. Just call it out loud! You need to call it. I can’t call it for you. It wouldn’t be fair. Do you know where I got these coins? New Smyrna Beach FL. They’ve been traveling 1500 miles to get to CT and now they’re here. And it’s either heads or tails. Now you can put away your lucky quarter. But don’t put it in your pocket or with the other change in your purse. It’s your lucky quarter. Put it anywhere but your pocket. Where it’ll get mixed in with the others & become just a coin. Which it is!”

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 The Coen Brothers’ 2007 modern western, No Country for Old Men, is a set in West Texas & Mexico. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is after the psychopathic hitman Anton Chigurh played by Javier Bardem. Javier won his only Oscar, Best Supporting Actor at the 80th Academy Awards, even though his is the starring role. Chigurh is trying to retrieve a briefcase with $2 million & a transponder for his client. Everyone who gets in his way, meets their demise. Everyone he encounters who has an asset he needs, meets their demise. People who he happens across may even meet their demise; it all depends on the outcome of a game of Heads or Tails. Though you’re witness to this game of chance but twice in the film, it’s Anton’s M.O. & luck is a recurring theme. Anton relentlessly pursues Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) who found the $2 million in a briefcase while hunting in the desert. It was among the leftovers amid the death from a drug deal gone bad. Kelly Macdonald is great as Llewelyn’s wife, Carla Jean; as is Woody Harrelson as Carson Well, also hired to find the drug money.

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 The title of the film is taken from the 1st line of William Butler Yeats poem, Sailing to Byzantium, also included in your package. A couple other interesting tidbits about the film: For No Country, Joel & Ethan Coen added their names to the 6 recipients with a record 3 Oscars for a single film – the only pair to do so for the same Awards (Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay); they were also nominated for the Best Film Editing Award, but under their pseudonym Roderick Jaynes because the Motion Picture Editors Guild disallows its members to be credited as co-editors on a motion picture. Jaynes was also nominated for Fargo. No Country was also nominated for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Cinematography.

Other siblings in film who’ve worked together include: Charlie Sheen & Emilio Estevez (Young Guns and Men at Work); Casey & Ben Affleck worked together in Gone Baby Gone and Good Will Hunting; the Bridges were The Fabulous Baker Boys; Walt & Roy O. Disney worked on 6 films together, including Steamboat Willie; Jake Gyllenhaal was Donnie Darko and Maggie played his sister; Francis Ford Coppola’s sister is Talia Shire (Connie in The Godfathers); The Marxes were Brothers. Though the Coens are the best director brothers, Andy & Larry Wachowski (best known for The Matrix) are the most interesting. They’re no longer brothers. In 2008, Larry became Lana. Then there’s the Kaufman twins, Charlie & Donald, credited & nominated for their Screenplay Adaptation of Adaptation. in 2003 at the 75th Oscars. However, Charlie wrote Donald and Nicholas Cage plays both in that fascinating film. New York City & South Florida are the settings for a faux man. But the Coen Brothers will show you that West Texas is No Country for Old Men. So watch the trailer below, then add it to you Netflix Queue. 4 Stars!

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