Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

My Favorite Scene: No Country for Old Men (2007) “Coin Toss”

There was a recent article I read that said that Javier Bardem’s portrayal of Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men is the most accurate portrayal of a psychopath in film history.  I don’t know if that’s a compliment to Bardem or, if you watch this film in close tandem with Skyfall, a reason to scream if you ever see him coming at you.  In both performances, as he is always, Bardem is astounding and deserved his Oscar for this film.

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No Country for Old Men may be one of the most frustrating films that I’ve ever seen.  The first hour is perfect, then something goes horribly awry and the back-end of the film is an incoherent mess leading to one of the worst endings in any “Best Picture” I’ve ever seen.  You can’t deny the perfection of the “Coin Toss” scene, though.  It’s tense, brilliantly written and a completely iconic moment for Chigurh’s character.  No matter how frustrated I become at the movie’s second half, I could watch this scene a thousand times.  The Coen Brothers are hit and miss with me like that.  Their latest, Hail Caesar, is getting good reviews and should be something to check out when it hits theaters this week.


3 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: No Country for Old Men (2007) “Coin Toss””

  1. As I was leaving the theater after watching this movie, I overheard someone say they were never going to watch another Coen brothers movie again. Personally I thought the film was brilliant from start to finish, but only the Coens could have gotten away with the finish.

    The amazing thing about NCFOM is that it borders on an art-house movie, yet is also an exciting thriller that the masses can enjoy. In my experience, the entertainment value is such that your average moviegoer can overlook the finale, even if they don’t like it.

    When I read “coin toss scene,” I momentarily thought you meant the scene towards the end of the movie between Anton and Josh Brolin’s wife. IMO that scene gives the entire movie a moral compass, even in the face of how everything ends. But the scene you chose is pretty amazing too. I am usually not squeamish, but it made me uncomfortable.


    1. That’s what is so amazing about it. This is a scene were the killer doesn’t actually show his monster but you can see it behind his eyes and in every syllable of dialogue. The Coens frustrate me but when their writing is on, it’s peerless.


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