Wednesday night my friends Bill and Patrick came over to watch No Country for Old Men (2007), a film that has affected all three of us in a profound way in the 10 years since its release. Several months ago Bill expressed an interest in watching the movie with me to discuss some of the film’s deeper meanings. I told Bill that we should also invite Patrick, another big fan of the movie.
We decided before we started that anytime someone had something to say, we’d stop the film. We did this very little during the film’s first hour, but probably seven or eight times during its second half. I won’t go into everything we discussed, but I want to cover just the last three minutes of the film in which Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) relates two dreams to his wife Loretta (Tess Harper).
Although we all agreed that the scene (watch clip below) with Bell talking to the retired law man Ellis (Barry Corbin) is probably the key to understanding the film (and we referred back to it frequently), we talked mostly about the ending.
We’re halfway through March but this post just scratches the surface. Much more to come!
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Sony Pictures DVD – library (1:44)
(Just a short review of this one, although there’s so much more to say, perhaps in a later post.)
There are casual Coen brothers fans and there are the folks who know every shot in every film and can tell you the connections between seemingly insignificant moments from one film and how they relate to scenes from another film. The casual fans may walk away from Inside Llewyn Davis slightly disappointed, hoping for something similar to what the brothers have done before, either in comedic insanity (Raising Arizona, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Burn After Reading), noirish thrills (Blood Simple, The Man Who Wasn’t There), historic or postmodern law-and-order tales (True Grit and No Country for Old Men, respectively). The diehards will no doubt embrace Inside Llewyn Davis, even though it just might explore some previously unexplored territory.