American Violence – a Critical Film Analysis of No Country for Old Men

1940 Words Apr 16th, 2011 8 Pages
Rosalind Harrell

Film 1010

Final Paper

American Violence – A Critical Film Analysis of No Country For Old Men

A violent contract killer, a blue-collar welder, and a weary sheriff are all players in the ensemble No Country for Old Men. The Coen Brothers adaptation of the novel written by Cormac McCarthy is a multi-genre, visual buffet about a man’s strength of will and dedication. It’s about death, fate and American violence. It is set in 1980 and centers around the chaos of questionable decision making and killing without a purpose or at the very least killing without ethics. Every Coen Brother movie has utilized violence as a way to enhance realism, entertainment and narrative. Each of their films employ bloodshed in
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111). The medium close up shot of Llewlyn and Carla Jean on the sofa in their very modest trailer home, puts them perfectly in the frame together so that we get a sense of what their relationship is like while they exchange simplistic teasing. The dialogue reveals that while curious about what her man has been up to, Carla Jean also accepts the fact that he is in control and always has their best interest at heart even if he refuses to elaborate on his prior activities. The overhead shot

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of Llewelyn and Carla Jean while they lie in the bed, moves to the left and into a close up that allows us to be able to process the day’s excursion along with him. The weapons in this movie are characters themselves as the useage of extreme close ups are exercised on them as much as the actual actors. Whether it is Churgh’s unique air pressure gun or Llwelyn’s handcrafted sawed off, we get to know each weapon intimately before it is used to annihilate what is in front of it.

At every turn, we rally for Llewlyn’s success. We know he is just trying to get by with his simple but naturally beautiful wif, Carla Jean. We can’t imagine his luck when he stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and discovers an opportunity to make life easier. Great care is taken with the setting to invoke a reminiscent feeling of Westerns we have come to
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