I naturally meant no harm for the dearly beloved No Country for Old Men when I used the word “taint” in writing about the National Board of Review’s having given its Best Picture award to Joel and Ethan Coen‘s metaphorical crime film. I was referring to the fact that the NBR is regarded with so little respect that getting an award from them might carry a wee bit of an “uh-oh” factor.

Groucho Marx once said “I would never want to be part of a club that would have me as a member,” and I was thinking maybe that some critics might say to themselves, “Let’s not vote for a film that those NBR scuzballs have championed…let’s go in another direction.” It was a strange riff since top-dog critics (or the ones I know) are rarely influenced along such petty lines. Here’s hoping that No Country keeps on going and going, right up to the moment that it wins the Best Picture Oscar.