Craig (a.k.as. “Goodvibe61”) wrote this evening about No Country for Old Men, and said certain things about it in a cleaner and more eloquent way than I’ve managed so far.
“I really admire this film,” he began. “It’s a truly inspired work of art. What’s really gotten to me are all the complaints on the web from movie fans who are either disappointed with the sudden ending of the narrative, or mad because they don’t seem to understand what happened. I read all this stuff out there and I ask myself why audiences ask so little of themselves when they watch a movie.
“The movie remained completely true to its spirit to the bitter end. And it had something honest and real to say about the way of the world. Something refreshing as hell for a change.
“One of the things I most love about the end of the film is the ambiguity of Tommy Lee Jones’ final monologue. I’m not referring to the film suddenly ending and some not understanding the point the film is making. Instead, I’m referring to the final line of dialogue that Sheriff Ed Tom Bell tells his wife about his second dream.
“I continue to think long and hard about that final line. And I ask myself how I’m supposed to take that line coming from that man.
“Is the story of the second dream supposed to provide a ray of hope, a sense of eventual contentment of a full life lived to its fullest being finally rewarded? Or am I supposed to take the final line as an admission that this kind of hope has been completely, irrevocably taken away? That the good sheriff had that dream of a hopeful place there in the dark, a warm place made by his father waiting for him out there in all that dark and all that cold.
“And then I woke up”.
“And that the events he’s recently seen have removed any possibility of that hope coming to pass?
“To me, this is one of the all-time great endings. I love the suddenness and swiftness of it. It’s beautifully composed, it doesn’t beat you over the head, and it leaves you breathless with the idea that this story has dug very deep under the surface of things indeed. It reminds me of the stunning ending of Vertigo, another ending that is about as swift and sure of itself as anything I remember seeing.
“I am so excited that this film even got made, that anyone had the stones to put such a dark and unconventional perspective into a story of this type. It defies conventional storytelling, it refuses to give the audience what they expect, going in directions you never imagined, and the beauty of not showing Moss’s fate on-screen is a direct comment about audiences that crave violence for their entertainment.
“Rare and well done.”