So we finally, finally, finally saw No Country For Old Men and Michael Clayton.
We saw Michael Clayton first and I'm glad. It was very good--George Clooney did a great job in a role a little different from his usual--and it had a great ending. Tom Wilkinson is always perfect and while Tilda Swinton was great I don't know if the performance screamed Oscar. But hey, whatever, great people in this all around, good stuff. But I'm glad we saw it first because we were both just that impressed by No Country.
Both D and I agreed Javier Bardem made for one of the best terrifying motherfuckers we'd seen onscreen in ages. Seriously, he's pretty fucking scary. I think it's also due largely to the dialogue (and that haircut, no doubt). But you meet him once or twice, no real conversations in sight, but then there's the gas station scene. I found it so creepy--and there's no violence in that scene.
Just last week, though, Cinemaslave made a really good point about anonymity favoring the delivery of such an amazing performance. It has nothing to do with their acting skills, but come on, if we'd all seen Javier Bardem in several romantic leads, it might make take away some of the impact of this performance. It's a bit of a Catch-22, but it's inevitable that sometimes the actors are such stars that it can detract a little from what they're trying to do. So in this case, Bardem is not an unknown, but neither does he have the Tom Cruise factor working against him (being well-known, that is, not the crazy twat part). Tommy Lee Jones is doing his Tommy Lee Jones thing, but it really works here. I'm not distracted as badly by him, especially since he's doing His Thing, and infact I always find him incredibly enjoyable. But it's Tommy Lee Jones and it's hard not to be aware of that while you're watching.
I'm raving, but it was an incredible film. I could easily see it again and again. It has great tension, creepy moments and all the gruesome blood (not too much of it, actually) is well done and not gratuitous. I give it a fuck yeah recommendation. The Coen brothers' films are not always a sure thing, but when they get it right, they really get it right.