I watched No Country For Old Men, for the second time, last night. I still like it, but I don't like it as much as I thought I liked it the first time I liked it. Let's say - on the universal Netflix measuring stick - that it fell from a "REALLY LIKED IT" to a "LIKED IT".
Which is weird... because thirty minutes in, I was feeling a bump of a "LOVED IT" status coming on. So what happened?
Up to the point where Llewelyn puts his wife on the bus, No Country is pretty flawless. Josh Brolin commands the screen like a Fritz Lang protagonist: a decent man finding himself, by chance, wrapped up in a plot with only dead ends. And Javier Bardem, pursuing to the beat of a blood-stained code of ethics, frightens, not because he kills, but because he seems to have the ways of life figured out.
But when Llewelyn hits the road, and the Woody Harrelson, and Tommy Lee Jones sub-plots kick in, the enticement drains. And where Barry Corbin's wheel-chaired and feline infested monologue once felt like appropriate punctuation, it now feels like a cameo in one of those 18 crime scene dramas on television ... silly and overwrought.
[NOTE: Why can't the Coens ever get accents right? Sure, Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Corbin sound authentic, but they're native Texans. The deputy??? Sounds like a goober. Carla Jean's mother??? A weak attempt at regional humor. Kelly McDonald and Stephen Root don't do well for themselves either. I'm sure the Coens exaggerate inflection on purpose ... sometimes it works (Raising Arizona, Tom Hanks in The Ladykillers), and sometimes it's annoying (Fargo) ... but it serves as a distraction in their less comedic/more serious films.]
Simply: No Country For Old Men has already aged... and not in that well kind of way. In contrast, I watched The Darjeeling Limited for a second time, Monday night, and I now think it's greater than I did the first time I thought it was great.
Sadly, no new doors opened up on my second viewing of No Country ... just a few shut windows.