Human Flower Project

No Movie for Real Men, or Women

We offer a still with flowers from a movie you can miss and still be cool.


Josh Brolin gets a respite and flowers between killings

Image: No Country for Old Men

Before it arrived in Austin, the Coen Brothers’ film No Country for Old Men was taking shape as a pop culture necessity. Must see… Best of…etc. To miss it would leave you somewhere between never having heard of Bob Dylan and failing to get the polio vaccine: in that wasteland a.k.a. No Country for Cool People.

Still, we refrained, until several of our most trusted movie buff friends highly recommended the flick, too. There would be No Uncool Country for us, damnit! Today we feel suckered, and worse than that, completely confused. What is praise-worthy here? The movie is an expensive horror flick. There are a lot of grim faced men with stubble. There’s a villain with a Prince Valiant hairdo. Mainly, though, there is non stop killing. Strangulation with handcuffs. Thunks in the forehead from an air-donker. A car crash. A car on fire. Spray from a big gun with a bean can (?) on the end. Pow-pow from a revolver taken off a corpse. There are two dead pit bulls (one with flies). There are many dead “Mexicans” in and around motel rooms on the Texas border. There’s a girl with bad grammar killed in her bedroom right after her mother’s funeral. There is a fat red haired man executed at his desk in a high rise building and at least four Scots-Irish looking guys with weak chins who are shot to death, one as he offers to jump the bad man’s car (aw! that’s too mean!).

With all the killings there also gets to be lots of blood—on the broken glass of a shot-out truck window, trickling across a carpet, in a bathtub, soaking through several snap button cowboy shirts, dripping from a deer in flight,  even poured out of a cowboy boot. Uh-oh, we should have said “Spoiler alert!” We would hate to have ruined that scene where the cowboy boot gets tipped over and fake blood pours out (We understand the Coens’ exported the stuff from England, since your ordinary old U.S. manufactured fake blood will not do—What a pisser to live in No Country for Decent Fake Blood!).

We hope we’ve provided enough details so that all our readers can skip the movie but not look uncool. If the subject comes up, here are some comments to make with confidence.

“This is the Coen Brothers’ best film since Hudsucker Proxy.”

“Javier Bardem was superb, so much more virile than Hannibal Lecter or Hillary Clinton. Hah-hah!”

“The Woody Harrelson role was a bit redundant, didn’t you think?”

“All the little border towns were so evocative.”

“No. I did not think Tommy Lee Jones bore the slightest resemblance to Barney Fife!”

That should do you…. In the meantime we’re going to be reading up on nihilism, unless we can find something better to do, like laundry.

For those of you who still may be tempted to see the movie, we offer this great philosophical howler from near the end of the film. Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) goes to visit his poor old uncle in a ratty trailer. The old guy is destitute and confined to a wheelchair, has a weekold pot of coffee on the stove and is covered with stray cats. So what does his nephew do? He talks about himself of course! He complains about the sorry state of the world, says he’s “outmatched” by the bad guys, and then stares out the window.

Sheriff Bell: “I always thought when I got older God would sort of come into my life in some way.  He didn’t.  I don’t blame him.  If I was him I’d have the same opinion about me that he does.”


Scratch a macho nihilist (or take his fake-bloody boots off) and you’re left with grandiosity, self-pity, and wet socks. If you won’t getcha own bean-can gun, Sheriff, and go find that bad guy with the Prince Valiant hairdo, can you at least make your old uncle a fresh pot of coffee? 



Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/16 at 02:50 PM


Wow, you flamed it! I haven’t seen it either, but that’s only because I’ve read the book. From your review (and others’), I believe that the film must be pretty true to the book, which I liked but did find very violent. That’s why I’ve held back on seeing the film; I just didn’t need those violent images etched deeper in my imagination.

However, being a die-hard movie junkie (relegated to seeing movies on DVD now that we have kids), I’ll see it eventually. With one hand over my eyes.

Posted by Pam/Digging on 02/17 at 01:31 AM

Julie: You are so clever. i hated this movie, All thekids loved it. I love your site. The stamp stuff is cool as hell. Thank you for sending Charlie the A Train card. Talk about cool. I have to get on his rear to have him thank you and others He acts thankful in his heart. A step. He goes to NYC for live auditions next week.

Love to you.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/22 at 12:40 PM

I do not even remember what I was googling for when I happened across the Human Flower Project. I was immediately very enchanted with the site, but it was this post that sealed the deal. What witty writing. I love it! I love this place already.  (Well and I love flowers.)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 04:35 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.