Javier Bardem, as the utterly psychotic Chigurh, is as monstrous a character I think I’ve seen and it’s telling that Tommy Lee Jones’ ‘good cop’ never gets to confront him (or it). The ending is bleak but you wouldn’t fancy the Sheriff’s chances so it could’ve been worse.
I’m not a Coen bros. fan, something that never fails to generate amazement and distrust in my students; I think I agree with the charge that they are too clinical. However, this ‘distance’ is ideal for the rendering of Cormac McCarthy’s novel (his The Road, due out in N.America in November, is likely to be the bleakest movie of the decade).
A word for Kelly Macdonald who invests her slight role with a depth that is striking in its pathos. Maybe that’s why it’s such a good film: its based on a good novel and has terrific acting (not forgetting Josh Brolin) so not even the Coen bros. could foul it up!