In keeping with the Texas theme of our trip, PJ and I saw the Coen Brothers’ new film, No Country for Old Men, on Thanksgiving day. It stars Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, and Kelly Macdonald and is based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Here’s the trailer:

No Country for Old Men is set in Texas in 1980. The movie starts with Brolin’s character, Llewelyn Moss, accidentally stumbling across what looks like a massacre, the results of a drug deal gone wrong in the desert . Investigating the scene more closely, Llewelyn eventually finds a leather case full of money, at least a couple million dollars. When he takes the money, it sets off a violent chain of events that, despite his best efforts, he cannot control or stop.

NCfOM is a great movie, certainly one of the year’s best. Jones plays the local sheriff, Ed Tom Bell. His character grounds the film in common sense and serves as the audience’s way into the film. He also serves as the film’s narrator of sorts. This character isn’t a stretch for Jones; in fact, he’s played this kind of role several times. But he is perfect in this part and watching him is like sitting in on a master-class for actors. This film wouldn’t work if Bell came across as hokey or cocky. Jones imbues him with a fundamental sense of morality that reflects a kind of everyman’s quest to make sense of the senseless world around him.