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All Movie Talk

Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

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No Country for Old Podcasts

Per some of the comments on Very Special Episode #1, I've written some more detailed thoughts on No Country for Old Men, the Coens' Oscar-winning take on the brilliant Cormac McCarthy novel. Huge spoilers for both book and film follow.

Seriously, there's no way to really discuss this without spoiling the ending. And it has some great twists. Stop reading if you've not seen the movie or read the book.

No Country is a fairly simple story, but there is enough strangeness in its tone that it takes a few viewings to really appreciate how without twists it actually is. A drug deal goes wrong and a million dollars is stolen. Good ol' boy Llewelyn Moss stumbles across the million and a dying man. He takes the million and hides it in his trailer. When he returns that night to offer the dying man water, he is spotted by a group of Mexican drug smugglers looking for the money. He escapes, sends his wife packing, and gets out of town.

Meanwhile, man named Anton Chigurh (pronounced sort of like "sugar" the novel tells us; the characters in the movie seem to spit the name out) lets himself be captured by a rural sheriff only to escape by strangling the officer. We see him murder a driver of a car using a strange device, which turns out to be a pneumatic method of killing cattle that serves as a handy way to blow out locks. Chigurh is hired by a mysterious group to recover the money and promptly kills his employers and sets out looking for the dough by way of a hidden tracking device.

Also meanwhile, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is investigating the murder scene and following up on Chigurh's handiwork. Bell is older and wiser than anyone else we see, and he grows increasingly disgusted with the world throughout the story.

Chigurh and Moss play what might be a standard cat and mouse game, but is played by the Coens as being quiet, bloody, and realistic. Moss is smart and resourceful, but he's not a Movie Hero. Though Moss gets closer to killing Chigurh than anyone else in the film, their one direct confrontation leaves both men wounded, and Moss the worse off.

We get what would normally be a turning point in the film, when Moss talks with Chigurh on the phone. Chigurh tells Moss that if Moss lays the money at Chigurh's feet, Moss will be allowed to die with dignity and Chigurh will spare Moss' wife.

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