One of my dad's longest running jokes, or maybe I should say 'sayings,' is about movies he doesn't like. You have to understand that he doesn't like about 90% of them, so I've heard this often. Anyways, the saying goes something like this:
It's a masterpiece; the master has left, the piece remained.
Well, the other day I found myself saying something similar about the latest Coen brothers movie, No Country for Old Men. I thought the movie really sucked. About ten seconds into the film I found it boring (during the first narrative). About a minute or two into it, I told hubby I didn't want to see it (already there were two murders and I knew the movie was going to be bad, as in mean).
I stayed and watched the whole thing though. The movie was two hours long. Two hours too long in my opinion.
Anyways, our friends -- and as I understand it many other people too -- found the movie very good and artistic. You know, hubby tried to explain their opinion to me, it's different. People think it's one of those artsy phartsy movies. I said, sure, only there was no artsy, just phartsy.
Many say the movie was different. I say it just sucked, but because there were some "artistic" elements often found in real art films, people confuse the issue. It saddens me because I do generally like Coen Bros' movies and this one has a plot line similar to Fargo, one of my all-time favourite movies, with a small town cop that goes after a ruthless murderer. The difference here is that another person gets involved.
Let's start with characters. They were all shallow and one-dimensional. The bad guy was just -- bad with no other qualities. The two protagonists weren't much better, their motives unclear.
The dialogue - what dialogue?
The description - ok, here I must agree that the cinematography was good, as was the acting - superb!
The plot was interesting, but lacked any redeeming qualities to make up for all the horrors subjected to when watching the film. It lacked that something that binds it all together.
As a whole, the movie lacked that je ne sais quoi quality that makes something work. Perhaps it was the lack of heart in both character and plot, lack of any redeeming quality that could give the viewer hope. There was no soul.
So no, No Country for Old Men isn't art, it just isn't good. I wish people didn't confuse feeling alienated by a movie with calling it art. If it was a book, I guarantee people would just stop reading it. Even the harshest books I've read, with the worst endings possible, left me with some emotional bond to one character or another despite losing hope for it, or for mankind - 1984. There was none of that here.
Well ... I think you got me by now. Feel free to disagree of course.
Categories: movies, art