A week ago Wednesday, I agreed to see No Country for Old Men at Union Square. I was immediately reminded why I don’t see movies in Manhattan, provincial as it may be. As if $11.75 isn’t already insulting enough, the $3 surcharge for buying two tickets in advance online was a joke because none of the machines were working and we had to stand in line to retrieve our tickets anyway. Boo. I guess you’re paying $3 to avoid a sold out show (which it was) not for convenience or time-saving.
Even half an hour early (I diligently slammed my blue cheese burger at nearby Stand—and lest you think I detail every single place I dine, this is as much as I’ll talk about that meal even though there was nothing wrong with it) we arrived to a long snaking line with no ropes or barriers for tidiness, just begging to be cut. Unfortunately, we were positioned right in the elbow, the furthest point from the door, though only in the middle of the line. And yep, as soon as the doors opened (a few) folks closer to the door but in the back of the line barged ahead. I started having China flashbacks.
But I’m not here to complain about the obvious. I’m still not sure what to make of the film, it kind of induced anxiety and tight breathing. I first noticed this reaction to movies when Mullholland Drive came out and I started having trouble swallowing. It’s when there’s no sound in the background; the stillness freaks out my body, apparently. So, if the Coen brothers were trying to wrack my nerves, they succeeded.
I was excited to Garrett Dillahunt. I do have a mild fascination with him, not in a crushy way. But all I could think was that this was a role that Henry Thomas would kill for. Too bad he’s so D-list. Texas , horse riding and Cormac McCarthy? Both totally Henry. In fact, he somehow weaseled his way into All the Pretty Horses, so in a way he already lived that dream. But that movie was a flop while this one is not. Instead, he’s acting in horror flicks with demented plot summaries like this:
“A chance encounter at a laundry mat between a YOUNG MAN and YOUNG WOMAN turns into a afternoon lunch date. As they get to know each other, bizarre stories begin to unfold, some fact, some fiction about each other's past. Eventually, the Young Man delves into a story about a birthday party whose guests began to be systematically killed off by a maniac in a white jump suit.”
Oh, Henry, you should really take a page from the Dillahunt play book.