This is certainly a movie I would not have seen, based on the violence in trailer, if it had not won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2008. I do try to see all the Best Picture movies, so, despite my initial thoughts from the trailer, I watched it. Now, The Departed, which is also very violent and which won in 2007, was, at least to me, a much better movie. This one had a ton of gratuitous violence. The Departed was similar, but for some reason, the violence there seemed more warranted, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. Maybe organized crime vs. something so random as depicted in No Country for Old Men? That’s my only guess at this point. Also, the storyline didn’t catch me as much as The Departed…
(Now, I do agree that Javier Bardem was probably deserving of Best Actor in a Supporting Role (though I have not seen all of the nominee’s).)
The movie did have some good lines, or some thought provoking views/philosophies here and there, but overall, I was not that impressed with it.
I do have a few quotes…
- paraphrase: “after kids stop saying sir and m’am, the rest falls quickly” [on the violence and sensless behavior of the day — and this was in the 70’s! ]
- maybe not quite exact: “even in the conflict between man and steer, the issue is not certain…”
- “Whatcha got ain’t nothin new. This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming, it ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.”
- at the end of the movie, on dreams Josh Brolin had:
Alright then. Two of ’em. Both had my father in ’em . It’s peculiar. I’m older now then he ever was by twenty years. So in a sense he’s the younger man. Anyway, first one I don’t remember to well but it was about meeting him in town somewhere, he’s gonna give me some money. I think I lost it. The second one, it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin’ through the mountains of a night. Goin’ through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin’. Never said nothin’ goin’ by. He just rode on past… and he had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin’ fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. ‘Bout the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin’ on ahead and he was fixin’ to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.
- “I’m looking for what’s coming…” Response was “no one ever sees that!”
After seeing both, I feel the opposite. I thought the gratuitous violence in the Departed was over done to the point of being detracting from the story. The excessive blood and brain matter splattering (cop thrown off roof + several characters shot in the head) detracted from the potential sense of loss for any of the characters. I also felt that the character development was much better done in No Country For Old Men because of the empathy I felt for Josh Brolin’s character. Maybe it was just my preference for how the movie was done, but either way, I think that the gore/violence was unnecessarily excessive in both films. That leads to desensitization to the value of life which our country does not need any more of. BTW, did you get to vote for either film? I think that whole system is garbage. Hollywood voting for itself. nice.
Hmm, after reading your post, you reminded me of more violence in The Departed then I remember. However, I still liked it much better than No Country. I thought Dicaprio did an amazing job…. I definitely agree with you that both had a lot more violence than was necessary!
I wasn’t a fan of No Country either. It really wasn’t due to the violence (I’ve been overly desensitized I fear), but the story itself just wasn’t there for me. The Departed was better put together in my opinion. The violence could have been toned down, but it did seem to be better placed when compared to No Country.
I liked both and loved “No Country”. Not a fan of violence I wasn’t sure I would like it ~ but I found it so compelling from the story to the cinematography. I was hooked in from the first moment, even with the slow pace of the film. It challenged me as a viewer which is so rare in film these days.
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