Monday, February 18, 2008

Best Ensemble Performance, 2007

No Country for Old Men (92 points/14 votes)

"It's telling that a good portion of the discussion about the Coen Brothers' latest work of greatness centers around who exactly the protagonist of the piece is. Is it Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin), whose actions at the outset spur the entire plot into motion? Is it Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), the terrifying force of nature whose pragmatic psychosis eventually wholly swallows the film's world? Or could it be Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), the world-weary old man of the title whose elegaic outlook provides unexpected emotional force? The thing is, any of these answers could be right, and that's as much a function of the expert cast as it is the complexity of the narrative. The three potential leads are all terrific; it's especially interesting to see Brolin finally coming into his own, as maturity has allowed what years ago came off as wooden smarm to develop into gritty stoicism. But it might all be emoting in a vacuum (or in Bardem's case, grandstanding in a vacuum) were the supporting cast and bit players not also pitched to perfection. The major setpieces of No Country for Old Men surely burn bright in the mind, but I'll also treasure a handful of performances in miniature: Kathy Lamkin obstinately refusing to give up Brolin's whereabouts; Garret Dillahunt getting excited over a sweaty bottle of milk; Gene Jones trying, bewildered, to untangle Bardem's vicious logic." ~ Steven Carlson

Zodiac (62/9)
I'm Not There (46/7)
Juno (35/6)
Grindhouse (33/5)

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1 comment:

Jason_alley2 said...

I agree with every word.