Pete's Blog

Best Picture of the Year

First, an apology: I have not written in this blog as often as I might, mostly because my computer has died and, as I save for a new one, the only access I have to the Net is at the local library, which gives its members just enough time each day for me to deal with the mountain of spam I receive. Anyway, in place of the many hours happily wasted at the computer (the hours, not me) I have been watching DVDs, including one that was won the Academy Award as Best Picture of 2007, a movie called "No Country for Old Men." This is, awards notwithstanding, the worst film I have seen in years and one of the worst I have ever seen. Why anyone should think it was even tolerable, let alone worthy of an award, is beyond me. To begin with, there is no story and no plot beyond a simple heist and chase. Characters have no motivations and no personalities. They do things for no reason but to lead the audience through a series of nasty shocks. The violence serves no purpose except to divert our attention from the fact that nothing these people do makes any sense. It is a series of pointless gross-outs, lovingly lingered on. Javier Bardem won an acting Oscar for his performance as an implacable hitman. Perhaps the judges thought he was the most convincing because he ends up killing the most people. The character has two facial expressions and apparently no inner life. You can't blame Bardem for his flat, affectless performance, considering he has been given a flat, affectless character to play. I have enjoyed previous Coen Brothers gore-fests like "Blood Simple" and "Fargo," as well as such non-shoot-em-ups as "O! Brother Where Art Thou?" But I would just as soon watch a Punch & Judy show as this vague, pretentious mess. At least Punch & Judy has a sense of humor.

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