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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 LFTS Merch: https://standard.tv/collections/lfts Twitter: http://twitter.com/michaeltuckerla Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaeltuckerla/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lessonsfromthescreenplay/ 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 (2106)
What’s your favorite Coen Brothers film? And what movie should we look at in a future video?
ipsurvivor (4 days ago)
Blood Simple
Ken Danieli (1 month ago)
Miller's Crossing #1
Jesse Barajas (1 month ago)
Wally Wallace (1 month ago)
Dave Quinn (1 month ago)
Lessons from the Screenplay I will underestimate it, hack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This movie never fails to impress me
Thom Waters (2 days ago)
One of the reason I’ve returned to this movie so often. The understated menace of Anton coupled with the slow developing plot totally driven by character’s behavior. Definitely my favorite Coen film.
Brandon (3 days ago)
This is in my top 5 of all time favorite movies
Dom RM (4 days ago)
Gay narrator 🚨🚨🚨
reyam 121 (4 days ago)
My favorite movie
Chronic COOL (5 days ago)
Definitely this film was an unforgettable cinematic experience!
David Smith (5 days ago)
Hitchcock would do similar things. In his final movie, "Frenzy," during the film several quirks of the killer are established. One is what he says just before committing a murder. In this scene, he utters the words, the door is closed to a second floor apartment, and then the camera seamlessly backs down the zig-zag staircase, out the front door and across the street. And, without seeing it, you know what has taken place above the noisy street. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRfbuQgJsjY
brice cate (6 days ago)
This movie was brilliant, it told you nothing, but gave you everything.
wwwkenorg (6 days ago)
The only Chiguhr that isn't sweet.
James Herrington (6 days ago)
How about A Night In Old Mexico?
Marie Miller (6 days ago)
great film...
Neil Pemberton (7 days ago)
Thanks for a great analysis! There are so many levels to this film, your video could have been 2 hours long, but a short snappy summary is easier to swallow and comment on. I thought about the fates of Anton and Ed Tom for ages before concluding that Anton was nothing more or less than a curse upon the earth, wandering alone, killing and corrupting as he goes. Ed Tom is a thoroughly decent man who is deeply troubled and haunted, but he has a loving wife to help him cope with his demons. He doesn't deserves to be alone, unlike Anton who richly does deserve to never know true love and inner peace. Anton offers the two boys a unprompted bribe at the scene of the car crash when they were simply doing the natural thing in helping a wounded man in front of them. The bribe corrupts their innocence. Anton's so-called moral code which leads to Carla Jean's death is total bulls..t. He simply uses it to rationalise his psychopathic pleasure in every murder he commits. By insisting he had no choice in killing her because he promised Llewelyn he would only shows he is equivalent to God in his own mind. He was home free with the money and Llewelyn was dead, so he could have left Carla Jean alone. He may be hard is steel but he is is also as brittle as thin glass, because deviating from his personal God complex even to spare a life would cause him to start doubting and second guessing himself. The Cohens make a superb choice in leaving Carla Jean's sickening and totally unneçessary execution off-screen. Instead the last we see of her is her defiant courage in refusing Anton's amoral coin toss, totally rejecting his attempt to rationalise away her murder by pretending his game gave him some sort of out when he invaded her home armed to kill her in cold blood.
C. Kinchman (7 days ago)
Without the brilliant performance of Shugurr, it would have been just another stern character portrayal by Tommy Lee Jones and a much less effective film.
C. Kinchman (7 days ago)
I learned that the Hitman and sheriff both like milk.
Jonathan Wandawa (7 days ago)
what the fuck??? this is really good!!!!!!!!!
Aaron Cleppe (7 days ago)
That was the best way I've ever seen an advertisement brought into a video 👏
Artemio V (7 days ago)
I don't remember Moss being gunned down at the door. I remember him being face down in the motel pool.
Black bird (8 days ago)
Javier Bardem is probably a psychopath in real life... he is waaaaay too good at this. D:
peter tuann (13 days ago)
I appreciate your analysis, you are correct, but I still hated this movie, it was so negative, crime psycho wins in the end, good cop retires as he knows he cannot handle today's level of violence,
dreamrealitysyndrome (13 days ago)
You don't have any purchases
Masterrorder (17 days ago)
ditch the music.
Evan Wessman (18 days ago)
I struggle with the concepts in this video a lot. The idea that you shouldn't spell everything out for the audience makes sense to me and I think it's a great technique. One mark of a great and intentionally crafted movie is that it rewards you by looking deeper and examining the details There are movies that insult the audiences intelligence, which can be annoying. The thing is, I didn't pick up on any of the things discussed in this video when I watched this movie. I'm not denying that they are present, they definitely are. But I think there is a line with how much you can expect an audience to pick up on. Whether No Country for Old Men crosses that line is another question, but I think there is also such a thing as overestimating the audience.
Larisa Golubeva (20 days ago)
I have two questions: 1. In the end of the movie, what part of the tiny hotel room was Anton Chugher hiding when a sheriff got there? 2. Where did the money go anyway?
mark heyne (20 days ago)
I love Cormac Mc Carthy's novels, especially the Border trilogy. In his world there is a blind Fate operating with great violence and little regard for human worth. In this story the rancher returns to the scene of the crime to provide water to a dying man. No good deed goes unpunished.
david romero (23 days ago)
Chigur my be death but fate hits death with a random car as a warning.
david romero (23 days ago)
Moss has a military tool watch and this is his view of the world. Moss is a man who knows how to do stuff with tools. John Lennon once said I’m am artist give me a tuba, I’ll get something out of it. Moss makes tent poles into art. Moss knows how to do things the average man can’t.
david romero (23 days ago)
Moss has a military field watch but this watch is never on his wrist. This watch has a broken band maybe. This watch is the first indicator that he is no normal man. The broken watch band carried in his pocket tells us who Moss is.
Lidija Cullen (24 days ago)
Did anybody else find that movie boring and not worth it?
southdakotaslim (25 days ago)
In sum, you were able to articulate, in a way I couldn't, just why it is that I find this film so viscerally appealing . Thank you!
Ollie Hopnoodle (26 days ago)
If you like the movie, this is a good video to watch to get some additional insight.
Judith (29 days ago)
I LOVE it when movies trust the audience to put 2 and 2 together Sometimes I'm way too stupid to get all of it, but whenever someone makes me notice details that suggest what happened off-screen that's one of the best feelings ever. Thank you for this video! your channel is so GOOD
Burial (1 month ago)
One of the best movies.
David Jones (1 month ago)
Please make analysis vid for ZODIAC (2007)
Ken Danieli (1 month ago)
Michael gotta do something about the marble mouth
Sunny Rastin (1 month ago)
How did i miss this AMAZING channel 👍.
Jamal Baker (1 month ago)
Don't Underestimate The Force.
goodtimecharlie (1 month ago)
My favorite part of this movie there is a central theme about how you can't see/stop what's coming. "That's who you keep looking out the window for? - Well, half. - What else then? - Just looking for what's comin'. - Yeah. But no one ever sees that." Then he is killed by the Mexican gang, and at the end Anton gets t-boned in the middle of a green light. Even the girl at the pool gets shot and killed. She certainly didn't see what was coming. Fucking brilliant writing in my opinion.
Pixeldoll l (1 month ago)
Love this movie!
Beowulf Macbethson (1 month ago)
You're lead to believe that there'll be a showdown at high noon. You're predicting that. Hell, for the first time, you're wanting that. But it doesn't happen. Instead the real world arrives.
Zois Antonopoulos (1 month ago)
This movie makes you THINK. That's what art is about. Giving you information , sharing ideas and concepts and letting you think about the events and situations.
Mike King (1 month ago)
yea..... who gives a shit...... movies are not important in life...... movies are bullshit and utilized for propaganda purposes by the entity that makes them.
Tony Romo (1 month ago)
No country for grandpa
Kate Williams (1 month ago)
I found myself here after reading what people wrote about ‘The 15:17 to Paris’- saying it was ‘amazing! From the master!’- Eastwood. I LOVE and adore him. My daughter’s middle name is his last name. I’d love to hear your thoughts on his slump in films these past years. Disclosure: I’m a liberal and the chair incident doesn’t bother me nary a bit, as some friends simply won’t have anything to do with him, due to that. I’m loving your content. I’m not only a new subscriber, I feel I’m amongst new friends.
Julian Jordan (1 month ago)
This video is incredibly well made, man. No Country is probably my favorite movie of all time and this shed so much new light on it. Thank you for this.
bigfatpear (1 month ago)
great film with the most shit ending of all time
etikkboksen (1 month ago)
Great movie, great breakdown. Very interesting channel, kudos.
Mariam Ratlamwala (1 month ago)
Greatest movie of all tym
radonstone (1 month ago)
I've just noticed that all three men also sit in the same seat at one point, yet their paths all drastically diverge to various outcomes
WWII Kittyhawk (1 month ago)
The real question is, will there be a part two?
The Unholy Messiah (1 month ago)
No Country for Old Men is a masterpiece due to its unrelenting realism and believable characters. It instantly sucks the viewer in with its visuals and variable morals.
zacharycat (1 month ago)
The sheriff was the protagonist, trying to catch the killers and save Moss and his wife, and failing. Moss was an ordinary guy who wanted the rewards of the outlaw (easy money) without being willing or able to cross the line into the savage life that the outlaw lives by, so he couldn't survive in that world.
BiLLY bUTCHER (1 month ago)
I think this is the brothers best work.And I love all of em except for 2.Their adaptation was better than the book I thought neway
Zara Woolf (1 month ago)
I have an exam on this in 3 hours !! Thank you for the last minute refresher
Zara Woolf (1 month ago)
SuperReghunath amazing Thankyou !
SuperReghunath (1 month ago)
Hows your exam?
Aslan (1 month ago)
The lack of music score is also a very conscious and effective move in this film.
Blingdream (1 month ago)
This movie has no score whatsoever. It's genius and totally ramps up the super intense feel of the movie.
Pressure Threshold (1 month ago)
I.e Show Don't Tell. I love the movie 'Predator' but the line that always bugged me was: "He couldn't see me..." ...Wow, really?
Bruise Knee (1 month ago)
No Country for Old Men respects me.
Matthew Thomas (1 month ago)
Great film, amazing.
michael gregory (1 month ago)
Good analysis. TBH, I've never given much thought to why I like this movie, only that I do. It wasn't something I could put a name to or finger on, but this movie definitely resonates with me.
Just Akram (1 month ago)
I start to appreciate this movie more after watching your video, thanks.
Louis Cuthair (1 month ago)
You know I really thought no country for old men was a chore to watch. It was boring , vague and I felt the Cohen brothers didn’t take enough time to create an environment suitable to the theme.
Jaryd Jackson (2 months ago)
I remember the first time watching this in a criminal pathology class, we were originally watching it to analyze Chigurh’s character. But after watching the movie, I was more intrigued by the story telling and neo-western style of it. I’ve watched it so many times since then that I could probably do a voiceover myself. That said, this video rekindled my interest in the film and I think I’ll go watch it again now.
KC Fang (2 months ago)
I really ensued this film but I certainly didn’t understand it, thank you for explained it so well.
BuLet`s Bulls (2 months ago)
i need to rewatch this movie i missed a lot
Sam Hepineuze (2 months ago)
Hey I love your channel
Jhair Ccorimanya (2 months ago)
One of my favorite movies of all time, but i always had a scene that bugged me a little, maybe I'm just dumb, but...why did Chigur used his shotgun against a crow?
Erin Brown (2 months ago)
Have any thoughts on the Men in Black franchise?🚀🌌👾👽
Charles Heck (2 months ago)
Excellent analysis. I've always said this is a perfect film since i first saw it...(I wasn't aware that Roger Ebert said the same thing until last week) but now I think it's even better than i thought thanks to your video. (Also, I missed some of the key points you highlighted the three times I've seen this movie.) Thank you!
Tuan Bui Huu (2 months ago)
Thanos. Is that you ???????
Spaceman Spiff (2 months ago)
Better Call Saul follows the unifying theory of 2+2 :)
Perry Widhalm (2 months ago)
A modern classic? No. It's a great movie but a film must stay relevant for more than 25 years to become a classic.
Rookut (2 months ago)
it will
Colin Sheedy (2 months ago)
I don’t think I’ve seen a more entertaining and interesting channel since RalphTheMovieMaker. And he’s still round. THIS IS GREAT!
Riot Angel (3 months ago)
This movie has an extended technique of "Show, don't tell, and then also don't show."
Riot Angel (3 months ago)
It's not who am I underneath, but what I do, that defines me.
Joaquín Ortiz (3 months ago)
I keep coming back to this video from time to time just because it's so good.
SecretTarg (3 months ago)
This was fantastic. Awesome
God // (3 months ago)
The story was about episodes that led to the sheriff's early retirement..a very simple plot line.
mostly cats 222 (3 months ago)
Javier is absolutely amazing.
docsmithdc (3 months ago)
This 2+2 theory is very plausible and one of the reasons I have always enjoyed the Coen Bros. films.Contrast this with another director who's films I have also enjoyed but rarely have revisited-Clint Eastwood.Eastwood seems to feel the need to "spoon feed" his audience.Rarely relying on the 2+2. He does not give you an opportunity to develop your own conclusions.Once the film is over there is nothing left to digest/think about.
Mahn England (3 months ago)
Killing is neither good or bad...according to Chighr. It is just a natural process. He is amoral and has dismissed any intellectual processing.
Mahn England (1 month ago)
@Vaughn Kavon Certainly ennui is not his problem. His interest is random and unprovoked.
Vaughn Kavon (1 month ago)
His emotional level is "Apathy" perhaps. He cares not what he does to another and what happens to him.
The Mammonous (3 months ago)
Good videos. But don’t get comfortable.
The Mammonous (3 months ago)
Lessons from the Screenplay You should do one on Gravity with Sandra Bullock.
Roger that.
Diane Berg (3 months ago)
The movie summed up: “damned kids these days.”
Levi Poush (4 months ago)
I think that the point of the movie is to get you to think, and I think that that is really important. But also it has a message I think, the point is that everything is meaningless and no matter what you try to do, you will, in the end, die, it all ends the same. Is Chigur death? Is he a man? I think he is a bit of both because even for him there are forces outside of his control that act upon him. It challenges everything that you are supposed to believe, and that makes you think, and the conclusion is it is all random, nothing matters, it is all the same, it is all pointless. It is no country for old men because the old man is trying to deal with the world according to his system, but everything is always changing and before you know it the system is nothing like what you thought it was, and you are left behind. Even if you live you feel useless and life is empty, no matter what happens you lose, everyone loses.
Juno X (4 months ago)
9:13 That's a very impressive link. My mind is in flames.
Vaclav Haval (4 months ago)
Betty Crocker discovered in the 1950s that customers weren't buying their instant cake mixes because they didn't want everything done for them. So, BC had customers add their own egg and sales shot up. Making your audience piece your story together is a similar concept.
Elliott Ryan (4 months ago)
The whole video was great but the way he plugged skillshare at the end... unreal!
t s ó l a r i a (4 months ago)
Patterns, and how a disturbance in those patterns gives you information
t s ó l a r i a (4 months ago)
So that's what I was missing when I tried to write a scene of everyday life. Everything the character does has got to tell you something about them. In hindsight, duh. But this was important for me to realize.
Mariam Ratlamwala (4 months ago)
people would think this is boring he makes it so exciting
Red Dead (4 months ago)
If only Andrew listened to him when making John Carter for $250 million.
new funky mode (4 months ago)
no country is the dark souls of film
Andrew Jackson (4 months ago)
Only good thing the Hitman. But still boring want to be modern cowboy movie that is just shit.
Gian (4 months ago)
I honestly didnt catch that boot scene. Guess im too dumb for this movie
Zinc Chameleon (4 months ago)
Agreed. The writer has set it up that our protagonist doesn't need all that drug money; he's a gun specialist, and all the brand-new shotguns and automatic pistols he retrieved from the shoot-out site would have paid his bills (only 18,000$ US.) by moving them on the black market. But no....he had to taste the forbidden fruit.
Lester Freeman (4 months ago)
I loved the 2+2 theory about STORYTELLING, and i think is it the same as the ICEBERG THEORY from Hemingway, the point is to omit certain information and elements from an scene or story to let the audience imagine or interpret it i mean its just a way to give gravitas and strenght the material. Do you agree?
scott faust (4 months ago)
It makes me SO sad that he didn’t put his boots up on the bed rather than checking his boots outside. That cut would have been great.
Relbl (4 months ago)
Meh, the only thing I thought was incredible about this movie was that the little Texas fillie that was trailer with the lead is actually a Scottish actress with a heavy drogue... I would NEVER have guessed in a million years! This one and 'There Will Be Blood'... I just don't see why people think they are so amazing. They are decent flicks but hardly legendary
Cranky Conservative (4 months ago)
I remember thinking this dude is clearly a bad mother fucker he clearly was involved with something and I thought it was weird but then we says he was in nam that was the first time I realized it was set in the 80s.
Adriano Martins (4 months ago)
Thank you for helping me to be a better screenwriter.
Krumpulous (4 months ago)
This opens my eyes up to all Coen Bros' films incredibly! Thank you!
Katelynn Householder (4 months ago)
Man let me tell you, your channel is teaching me so much about film that I had previously been lacking and if I ever become an actor it’s because I meticulously studied your videos

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