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No Country for Old Men — Don't Underestimate the Audience

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Get your first two months of Skillshare for free: http://skl.sh/lfts6 Support LFTS: http://patreon.com/LFTScreenplay Like LFTS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lessonsfromthescreenplay/ Follow me at: http://twitter.com/michaeltuckerla No Country For Old Men is a film that challenges the audience in the best possible way. It never condescends and refuses to spell things out—instead compelling us to connect the dots and participate in the storytelling. This video examines some of the ways it achieves this. Produced by: Michael Tucker (http://twitter.com/michaeltuckerla) Written by: Brian Bitner (http://twitter.com/BrianBitner) Andrew Stanton TED Talk: https://youtu.be/KxDwieKpawg Coen Brothers Interview: http://www.ign.com/articles/2007/11/09/interview-joel-and-ethan-coen Check out my kit, from screenwriting books to gear: https://kit.com/LFTS/screenwriting-books LFTS Recommended Reading List: https://www.lessonsfromthescreenplay.com/reading-list/ Translate this video: http://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?v=KADoPXknQCI&ref=share Thanks to Diego Rojas for composing original music for this video and this channel! Check out more of his work: https://soundcloud.com/diegorojasguitar TwinSmart's Marxist Arrow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/ With the company Twin musicom licensed under the Creative Commons license Attribution (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/
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Text Comments (1966)
What’s your favorite Coen Brothers film? And what movie should we look at in a future video?
Marc Padilla (3 days ago)
This and Big Lebowsky. Oh brother where are thou is good too.Brilliant story tellers.
patrick barrett (3 days ago)
Fargo
t mac (21 days ago)
Raising Arizona, lebowski.
Luke Del Pinto (27 days ago)
The correct answer is “The Big [email protected]
Ignacio Diaz (27 days ago)
The big lebowski
Ninja Crumb (1 day ago)
Not that it is important, but you got one of the less than 7 thumbs up that I have given since my years on Youtube (plus a sub!!)  I absolutely love this movie, and your context just awakened thrills inside of myself that I was not aware of due to being enthralled by the dozen times I have seen it.  Excellent job!!
Marc Padilla (3 days ago)
Texans are not hicks.
patrick barrett (3 days ago)
I love and have watched this film many times. Thankyou for this deeper insight.
Ezra Marsh (5 days ago)
This film has another essential element. It has a bad guy whom you learn to hate with a feral passion.
alexandre do (5 days ago)
No Country For Old Men is like a snubbed masterpiece. Anytime someone would ask me what is my favourite film I would name this one. Then they would proceed to tell me how so and so movie is way better. It's a genre film that plays with the tropes so well you can just rewatch it over and over.
vesocsm (9 days ago)
the days 10-11 years ago when we got "No country for old men" and "There will be blood" at the same time, compared to today...
Tấn Thành (11 days ago)
i actually didn't like the film, but not now
lbarberiscanoni (11 days ago)
I think this pattern of taking a screenplay theory (2+2 in this case) and seeing how it applies to the movie is really good. Not saying you should make every video like this, but I think you could make a whole playlist explaining screenwriting theories (alternative to the mono-myth for example) through specific movies
TheBack40 (13 days ago)
Amazing video. Your insight is extremely thoughtful and illuminating. I never noticed the parted curtains or how Chirrguh checking his boots after his confrontation with Carla Jean confirms he did, in fact, kill her. I'm looking forward to watching your other videos.
Ananth Agastya (14 days ago)
Can you do one for "there will be blood"? It was released the same year as this great movie...both movies were filmed in the same location, too. :)
Alex H (14 days ago)
Literally the closest to perfect movie of all time
Perry Robles (16 days ago)
And now that I am on the subject of movies. This MASTERPIECE is a fine example on how to write dialogue. Most movies i see today leave this thought in my mind. “Who wrote this script? It sucks.” Characters don’t have to be superhuman to relate. They don’t have to be Harvard graduates. Do ‘t speak in stilted language. Nope this script uses Middle English. Further, it uses the correct language register for the characters. It works because we, everyone in The US, can understand them. Perfect example on how to write a script, bitches! LOl. LOved your movie.
Perry Robles (16 days ago)
Another notable, the actor who payed Anton also starred in a James Bond movie, right? In that movie, I think, he was Spanish, tormented, and above else transformed into a monster by revenge against his employers. In No country: Make no mistake. He’s. Psychopath. No bargaining. No pity. Just work. You were born for this craft because i believe you.
Perry Robles (16 days ago)
Movie dissection for future: GRIFTERS. It is the only movie. ONLY MOVIE I have ever watched that was TRUE to the book. It didn’t lessen the book for me. It accentuated it because all of the actors in that movie were flesh and blood people. Not actors. But i digress. GRIFTERS: Was awesomeness because the characters weren’t switched up. Man character in the book. Was man character in movie. Director. Producer. Actors. You guys/gals did what every movie/film maker should do. Stay true to the work. Muy Bueno!
Perry Robles (16 days ago)
All who COLLABORATED on this film... Super-Awesome job. Comparable, only in awesomeness, not in subject, to SENSE 8.
Iamwatchinit (19 days ago)
Love this movie - great video you made! I also love how there is no music in the whole movie (except for one scene I think) but there is so much tension build up just by the acting by the three main characters.
Jesse Wright (19 days ago)
All of the 2+2 stuff is great, but it doesn't change the fact that this isn't a very good movie. The main issue is that the story isn't even remotely believable. It starts with Buster Brown and his air hammer and goes downhill from there.
Leon Kennedy (19 days ago)
I always felt the people who hated Lost and/or misunderstood the ending were the type who couldn't add 2 and 2 together. They had to be spoon fed answers, when all the answers to 99% of the mysteries are right there upon multiple viewings, or were never crucial to the main story and can be chalked up to the weirdness of the Island. Probably the same people who hate this movie.
Danielle Adonis (21 days ago)
such flawless segue of the ad tho
t mac (21 days ago)
Good shit brah.
There is sooo much rubbish on Youtube......and then there is this!!! Nice to come upon something that has you grappling for the subscribe button :)
Charles Boulet (22 days ago)
Great commentary. Thank-you.
Ken Potter (23 days ago)
"The Coen Brothers" is the new "Stanley Kubrick"
Kangjam Sarjit (23 days ago)
I will never delete this film from my folder.
Steve Wirtes (23 days ago)
I love your videos dogg!!! I can’t afford to patrion for you but please keep going!!!!
Eduardo Zavala (24 days ago)
I'm sorry but Chigurh is not a rich character. He is a simple representation of the nameless, timeless, larger-than-life, evil trope that is without cause, barreling through towards a barely recognizable or completely absent destination. He wants the money, yeah, but he is not pursuing the money necessarily, that is not his main drive. He is one example of countless representations of the same idea (i.e Ledger's Joker): that there is evil without an end or reason to itself, it just exists and acts. It is a cop-out by writers so that they don't have to create a reason for evil to exist, which of course is much harder than crafting a reason for heroism.
Michael Chesny (25 days ago)
Thanks for your observations.
Dylan Lepore (25 days ago)
This was really great. You brought a lot to my attention that I never thought of when watching this movie, and I've seen it several times!
Boneless Tofu (27 days ago)
If you ask me Llewelyn isn't really the protagonist he seems more like a neutral than a purely protagonist type, I feel like the sheriff is the true protagonist despite the internal struggle he has with the changing word and the violence he's faced with.
Film Nobs (27 days ago)
I probably have watched "No Country For Old Men," six or seven times. The scene at the gas station with the coin flip is one of my favorite scenes ever. Chigurh says something very odd to the attendant, "Don't put it in your pocket sir. It's your lucky quarter." The fact that he calls him, "sir," makes this scene so chilling to me. It's unsettling that Chigurh could be so polite, when we know what he is capable of doing. And the poor attendant, he never fully realizes the true value of the quarter. It's an unnerving juxtaposition. There always seems to be something new to discover in this film. Keep up the great work, really enjoy your movie analysis! This video makes me want to go back and watch the movie again!
Maja (27 days ago)
what i think is the most important scene from the movie is when Chigurgh gets hit by a car while he has a green light. It shows that no matter what our motivations or history are what happens to us is truly random and we have no control over misfortune.
aluisious (28 days ago)
Showing us the characters through action is not "2+2 theory." It's show, don't tell, which is something that's taught to children. Don't try to make something more novel than it is.
Tom Shore (28 days ago)
This is one film that I say is brilliant up until the point Moss is killed offscreen. Sure, it may have been the point of the movie to subvert expectations like this, but for me the film was engaging and building to a climax that fell apart with the sudden death of Moss. The film then just slowly crumbled into banal navelgazing as far as I was concerned.
Ryan Steinle (30 days ago)
Excellent video!
Never heard the ending described like that before. Dreaming of a simpler time.... and then I woke up. Genius. But I always thought of it as Bell accepting his inevitable death.
Dan (1 month ago)
I don't think they really broke from convention. The idea that characters need to be shallow and plots spoon fed to audiences is just Hollywood. There are tons of other genres that have been writing actual stories for a very long time. Art house, sci-fi, etc.
Lorenzo Morgan Jr. (1 month ago)
In regard to the great writing and filmmaking, the anticipation of the eventual encounter with Sheriff Bell and Anton kept my attention towards the latter half of the movie. To my film-viewer dismay, that never happened (very good filmmaking).
S Dance (1 month ago)
Never noticed the gap in the curtain! I always thought it was because he saw the dusty truck in the car park. Great video; fascinating!
The Shocker (1 month ago)
One of the Coens misses. Boring with too much mumbled dialog. Also, that suppressed shotgun is pure fantasy...at least that tubular standard baffle stack suppressor.
One of most emotionally heavy movies of all time.
Tommy O Donovan (1 month ago)
It was a great movie....although I thought it was ultimately flawed. The Cohen's couldn't wrap it up....But I'm old and my mind wanders.
You made this film seem twice as good to me as it did before. I already liked it, but so many of the details mentioned in the video went past me when I saw the film.
30 And Hating It (1 month ago)
Loved the movie until the ending. Totally anti-climactic let down. All that time and energy leading up to the big confrontation and then, fluff, one of them gets taken out by some random prick? I remember people groaning in the theater, it totally let the air out of the place. I gave it another watch through with the same result at home, awesome movie, big lead-up, no money shot. It's like... I love you, but you gave me blueballs.
Imagon Nasah (1 month ago)
Wait wait wait wait wait,I'll pause right here and now.I've got a feeling its best I watch the movie first.
Joaquin Cuquejo (1 month ago)
The Coen brothers looks like Walter White
Aaryan Ali (1 month ago)
bruh i missed half of the plot because of this. i was lost the whole time
MickyAvStickyHands (1 month ago)
Last era of decent major film releases where the only good films in the theaters weren't Super Hero, Animated or Hollywood political propaganda.
Pro Genji (1 month ago)
That was a long ad
libertyn jeopardy (1 month ago)
One of the most banal low ball POS films in history, a gutter snipe of evil appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Juan Tejedor (1 month ago)
Amazing review, it makes me love the movie even more. Kepp it up man that´s good work
Trindad Garcia (1 month ago)
I appreciate how the good people died and the villain survived.reminds me of "a part two in the future.
Jonathan Dirks (1 month ago)
The first time I saw this movie I watched it while eating pizza. There are some short moments where if you happen to be looking down for a second you're going to be confused. Not the movies fault, but definitely don't watch it while eating pizza!
Sean B (1 month ago)
I can't stand the feminine narrative in this . How femmy has society gotten? I guess it is. "No country for old men".
steel fashion (1 month ago)
very good
Ryan Mayer (1 month ago)
You sadly help me question what exactly else I am missing in the rest of my day to day life. And I would like you to voice over my life bio once I am dead, please.
Infested Sniper (1 month ago)
Short answer, show, don't tell. you don't even have to put together the whole image and place trust in the audience they'll use their brain enough to solve the sudoku of a story you've presented them
Colton Jon (1 month ago)
Yo why is Llewelyn wearing Chucks at 4:50?
Wheeler King (1 month ago)
This book gives me a nice, full hard on boner.....not sure what mental state Cormac McCarthy achieved to write this and what he did to achieve that level but goddamn it, this book is absolutely the cat's meow
FAHEY (1 month ago)
**EXCELLENT** film analysis. Deep and yet to the point, without losing focus.Congratulations.
Jake Tibbs (1 month ago)
I think the point is that Bell is the protagonist, not Llewelyn. Otherwise, great video!
wow717 (1 month ago)
Do more Coen movies!!
Edward J. Cunningham (1 month ago)
It's nice to see that I *finally* have an explanation for the final scene in NCFOM. I'm happy that the Coen Brothers finally won both a Best Director(s) and Best Picture Oscar, but I much preferred the ending to "There Will Be Blood". In the infamous "milkshake" scene, we see a self-righteous prick---the ONLY character in the film who makes Daniel Day-Lewis seem sympathetic---get his overdue just desserts. Maybe the Coen Brothers simply OVERestimated my intelligence, but I didn't care for an ending that just made me say "Huh?" at the end.
Absynthexx1 (1 month ago)
I always thought a nice poetic end would have been if the car crash at the end was Chigur's fault instead of him getting hit from the side. He should have still had the quarter that Carla Jean refused to call and it should have bothered him that he didn't get to see it called. He looks at it in his hand as he's driving and goes through a stop sign. Crash. The idea would be 1) his silly obsession with the 'coin destiny' and 2) her standing up to him by refusing to call it would result in his crash. It's just as random as the actual film crash, but it incorporates the odd coin thing he does into something more significant in the film. It also gives the audience some catharsis after knowing he just killed Carla Jean.
Sarah Green (1 month ago)
I thought the whole point of the story was that it's "No Country for Old Men" because the world has always been bad, but Sheriff Bell himself has changed (ya know he got old. Old people always complain about how bad the world has gotten no matter what decade it is). Not the other way around. Maybe it seemed to be more that way in the book idk. Could be wrong I don't usually try to look for the deeper meaning in movies.
lmw1996 (1 month ago)
Damn, I never look into how and why he checks his shoes so much. Great analysis.
David G. (1 month ago)
STUPID...
megatronVS (1 month ago)
A lot of what you're talking about has as much if not more to do with the book than the film itself. Cormac McCarthy is an incredible author.
MarvelDcImage (1 month ago)
Nah. Note to self - if I find a bag full of money, buy a new bag and ditch the old bag ASAP.
David Q Heffner (1 month ago)
Wow! Great breakdown of a great movie.
Coconut Head (1 month ago)
Can't stand that soy boy voice
Lebenspiel (2 months ago)
One thing is wrong with this movie. That quiet "phew" sound of the shot from the shotgun with suppressor.
Pickle Von CrunchnMunch (2 months ago)
this is stupid. im an engineer and 10x as smart of your average person. i solved 2 + 2 when i was a baby. and so this theory is for babies
WalkenDead1369 (2 months ago)
Cormac Mcarthy is one of the best writers ever to put pen to paper. I've heard that there is a movie version on Blood Meridian in the works. If it's done true, it'll make a Tarantino movie look like 1950's Disney
josh bentley83 (2 months ago)
Nice adding Blood trails at the beginning.
Reto Torriani (2 months ago)
Fargo
Sharqui Metal (2 months ago)
No, no, Llewelyn Moss isn't the protagonist. That's the Sheriff, is his story therefore the name of the movie...
Dominic Jackson (2 months ago)
0:22 I disagree no country for old men has terrible characters and boring scenes...
Siren Sic (2 months ago)
I’m loving the channel and the movies you pick as subjects. But, God, the elevator music you put in the background is driving me nuts.
James Strum (2 months ago)
Great video! Also a great film!
MrMojoSuper (2 months ago)
Good job on dissecting this movie. Have you studied cinematography?
Tim Jung (2 months ago)
Well said! Another way to explain how spoon-feeding is inferior is that it robs the emotional spike that results from the audience connecting the dots. It's the same reason why spoon-fed comedy, i.e. comedy that relies on informing or explaining the audience that something was a joke, is also inferior. This is why dry humor is funnier. But yes, not everyone will be able to connect the dots for various reasons, e.g. lacking intelligence, mentally distracted, lacking knowledge/context, etc. It can also be said that to maximize the emotional spike, the gap between the dots also need to be maximized, but not so much that it's too difficult or impossible to connect. Furthermore, the technique of creating such gaps facilitates avoiding obvious plot devices (which is good because that disrupts immersion). It facilitates efficiency and economy. This sum is a more impressive, and thereby admirable, product.
Davi Gurgel (2 months ago)
Gary oldman got really mad about this...
Dennis G D (2 months ago)
Thanks for posting.
WESYX (2 months ago)
The problem is people since forever don't watch a movie to figure things out for themselves. They want to see a story, hopefully a good one. Unless you're watching "Clue". I really do like the movie, but i think the ending is weak.
KikoTheLumberjack (2 months ago)
In short: Information learned if more valuable than information given ;)
Bruce Smith (2 months ago)
I love everything about this film! Except....that ending....what the? Great analysis thanks!
Soul Of Oroborus (2 months ago)
I just wanted to say that I heard that this movie was great, and, after some dodging thinking "meeh, I dont feel it's THAT great" i stumbled upon the coin flip scene and I was sold. The tension was gripping. After I saw the movie I left with the idea that is was an awesome flick as a whole. But now, after your video, (analizing the antagonist relation with his boots) I got struck with WHY everyone praises this movie. I liked it for the darker tone, but did not catch all the fine details. I loved the casting and the setting. I donno, i feel that movies happening at farms or ranches or towns like this one is where times stands still, suspended until you give it a push and everything falls apart. I might see it again this year (I forgot some parts of it and thsts just fine for a 2nd viewing). Big UP for your channel. You do a fine job, sir!
Kenneth Ferland (2 months ago)
I did not like the film, building up to a showdown between the main characters and then not having it is simply anti-climactic and bad, convention exists for a good reason. Also I found the homing beacon in the money to be an absurd contrivance to keep the killer on the trail.
Tyler Durden (2 months ago)
Not many movies have the bad guy win.
GETitHOWuLIVit (2 months ago)
You read the themes of this film all wrong.
Mark Keady (2 months ago)
I always thought this film was overrated. This makes me realize, I'm just an idiot....and not competent enough to be able to understand fantastic filmmaking. Well done.
Sam Erickson (2 months ago)
More like lessons from the novel.
Lars Rye Jeppesen (2 months ago)
Man what an ending - with an Apple commercial... the most evil company in the World.
Hayley Comet (2 months ago)
Great work!
aleckermit (2 months ago)
This is my favorite movie.
ebym2207 (2 months ago)
I had noticed the curtain part but not the shoe thing, thanks
Smug Smugly (2 months ago)
Why does no one understand the point of this video? "Where are the ingredients?" "Where's the recipe?"
viciousKev (2 months ago)
2+2? This movie is more like quantum physics.
michael theiss (2 months ago)
I wish the Coen brothers would make Mcarthys novel Blood Meridian into a movie.

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