I saw two amazing films over the Thanksgiving weekend. One had zero music and moved incredibly slowly. The other was full of some of the finest songs of the twentieth century and buzzed like MTV.
The first was “No Country for Old Men“, which literally haunted me for the proceeding 24 hours. The Cohen brothers have done it again, “Fargo” style, only more violent and less funny. The similarities to “Fargo” are obvious: unassuming cop doing his/her job, ordinary people put in extraordinary circumstances due to getting mixed up in illegal activities, and barren landscapes showcased by marvelous cinematography. Javier Bardem’s calmness transfers to the audience, and the lack of music used as queues make it realistic, yet even creepier. The only real issues I had with it were some consistency things with the time period. Like the peanuts packages at the gas station — those were modern peanut packages while everything else in the store was clearly vintage. Still, if a finer specimim of Film will be released this year, I would be highly surprised.
The other movie I saw was “I’m Not There“, you know, the Dylan movie (as I so often have had to indicate). Two words: CATE BLANCHETT. Seriously. I mean, my God that woman can act. She was the only thing that saved “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” from going all green with patina after twenty minutes, and here she completely steals the show. I wish there was a director’s cut with only her bits spanning over two hours. The film is a wonderful representation of Dylan as a developing performer basically through the late ’70s when he was born again (though it skips about 10 years). Nothing means anything and everything means something. The fact that six actors play Dylan in different times, and with different names even, is a brilliant concept. Bob Dylan isn’t even his own name, so what difference does it make what we call him? He made up his life history, tried to hide that he was a Jew from northern Minnesota, so why can’t we make a black kid symbolize his journey to New York? Isn’t that what Dylan would want? It could have been a disaster, but Todd Haynes did a fantastic job.
However, I do have some problems with the movie. I posted it on the IMDB forum, but I’ll post it again here just for fun, under the cut.