First off, I just want to say that these two movies are (obviously) tied for number one as the all-time favorite movies. I remember the first time I watched No Country For Old Men when I was 16 and it was speechless. The script, the cinematography, the score (or the lack of it at times) the acting, all of this captured my attention in ways that I didn’t even understand. It was the first time I saw a movie where the “good guy” dies and the “bad guy” walks away. I immediately picked up Cormac Mccarthy’s novel and read it in almost a day. The film captured the novel beautifully, and the message itself, focused on Sheriff Ed Tom, took a long time to understand. I’m 29 now and still have a lot to learn, but the movie is almost perfect in my eyes. Dark, deep, violent, humorous and chaotic. Life itself in many ways. If you’ve never read WB Yeats’ poem with the phrase “no country for old men”, I highly recommend it. The link is here. Navigation to Byzantium I memorized it years ago and it brings warmth in contrast to the obscurity of the movie and the book itself.
On the flip side … there’s True Grit. When I first watched this movie, it didn’t hit me in the same way and I almost dismissed it. The movie didn’t seem to have that much depth and just told a simple story. I was obviously wrong and the more I’ve watched it over the years, the more it hits me. This movie is full of … people. All the characters are polarizing. Are they good? Are they bad? Are they somewhere in between? For me, this is the biggest point in history. People in general are generally in between, and the movies are also beautiful. As with No Country For Old Men itself, the movie itself is almost perfect but lacks that same obscurity and almost gives an eerie hope in the end. I’m not sure it makes sense, but it still leaves me calm.
These two films deserve all the recognition they get, but for me personally, they’ve helped me in life in strange ways. Accept the inevitable age, understand people a little more, seek beauty in places you would not normally expect and understand that this world can be a very bright place sometimes, even with so much darkness around us . The older I get the more these two films hit me and I can’t decide which one is better. What do you think? Let me know your thoughts and what are some movies that hit you like this?