inferior to fargo in every way, but still a pretty good movie. the actors are all fine, none of them spectacular. the dynamic between jones and his underling is similar to that of mcdormand and hers in fargo, but not as funny or charming. they’re pretty similar films in arc, but fargo is more balanced has greater breadth. frankly i can’t see any way to this being the best film the coens made. fargo and big lebowski will always be better in my estimation. it’s not even their best adaptation of a book. o, brother where art thou and true grit were both as good or better.
all that aside, ncfom is another solid pic from two great american filmmakers. they do a good job of building tension and portraying the pecularities of texas. anton chigurh is one of the more frightening villains in recent years. didn’t understand the importance of either the opening or closing monologue. i suppose my biggest problem with the film is the lack of humanity that fargo has. instead of some rambling dream from tommy lee jones you have frances mcdormand reflecting on the useless acts of the convict in the back of her cruiser. instead of a relatively lifeless tommy lee jones you have a more dynamic and central mcdormand. you see more of her home life and reuniting with her awkward high school friend. instead of brolin and bardem you have william h. macy and his father in law and steve buscemi. the characters and dynamics are much more interesting, fun, and humane. there’s a starkness to this film that just has no pulse. maybe when you’re an old man you’re too tired of life to care anymore. maybe that’s the point. maybe these guys are all just going through the motions because they have no drive anymore. not sure, but i am sure that it’s not as fun to watch.