I love good films. To sit back in a dark theater and eat up the dialogue and visual images that are created for enjoyment and entertainment by filmmakers has long been a favorite of mine. I enjoy films that are textured and rich with evolving characters that draw me into the plot. The types of films that grab me are those that resemble “The English Patient”, “Hairspray”, and “The Last King Of Scotland”. Mindless and sophomoric films that are generated for teenagers and some young adults bore me silly.
And violence that seems to be the driving force for a film makes me leave a theatre.
I have never been so disappointed by the critical acclaim for any film as I was for the one voted Best Picture at the 80th Academy Awards several weeks ago. “No Country For Old Men” has some wonderful visual and cinematic aspects that made it at times very enjoyable. The large Texas scenery and low toned conversations made for a very interesting feel to the film. But the violence that started and never seemed to end, and feeling most times to exist only to ‘shock and bleed’ proved too much for my sensibilities.
At about an hour into the film I turned to James in the theatre, and was amused that he was about to ask the same question I was going to pose to him. “Should we just leave the theatre?’ It was interesting that my thoughts were echoed as we walked to the car and discussed the movie.
While the Coen brothers are highly rated in our home for “Fargo”, the amount of anger and senseless violence in “No Country For Old Men” made for a most unpleasant movie experience. While I want films to provoke and be edgy on the one hand, I do not want my intelligence insulted with the use of the basest ways to make a film only to insure a full house of ticket buyers. Dead and bloating bodies of humans and animals with flies swarming around…..and I am supposed to pay for this sight?! Senseless and ruthless killings one after the other, and I should praise Hollywood for making such a ‘fine’ film?
I am sure many will say I just did not ‘understand’ the film. Clearly I did not. And I am OK with that.
This experience proves again why foreign films are a better choice.