This week, I watched two award-winning movies that I should have watched much sooner: “No Country for Old Men” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” Luckily, both films were added to Netflix in 2018. If you haven’t watched these movies yet, you need to get to it before they disappear.
“No Country for Old Men”
Directed by the Coen Brothers, “No Country for Old Men” was the 2007 Academy Award winner for Best Picture. It takes place in West Texas in the early 1980s. A hunter in the middle of the desert, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), discovers a drug deal gone wrong and a cash stockpile to the tune of $2 million dollars. Rather than report the incident to the police, Llewelyn chooses to keep the money for himself. Incidentally, psychopathic hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), is sent after the money, and a chase begins.
Rather than jumping into the action, the Coen Brothers take their time to introduce the characters and setting slowly. However, action begins quickly and doesn’t let up until the end of the movie.
The acting in the movie is great, and it is seen best in Bardem’s role as the hitman. Chigurh is exactly what a villain should be: remorseless, cold and extremely witty. At the same time, the film itself is vivid and bright, which makes Chigurh’s actions feel so much darker.
The ending of this movie had me thinking long after the final scene. Not only does it provide a beautifully captured and exciting chase, it also leaves viewers with a powerful message. This was an awesome find on Netflix, and those who haven’t seen it are missing out.
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Dallas Buyers Club” (2013) is another similarly popular movie, but I figured there are still many people that haven’t seen it. Like “No Country for Old Men,” this film is also set in Texas in the ‘80s, but the premise is very different. Homophobic, wannabe cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with HIV but, because of the stigma attached to it, aggressively denies the infection until it is impossible to ignore.
Upon accepting that he is HIV-positive, he quickly begins seeking a cure for himself — and shortly finds himself smuggling drugs into the U.S. When an FDA investigation led by Richard Barkley (Michael O’Neill) cracks down on Woodroof’s operation, things get complicated for him.
Woodroof’s development throughout the story is what made the movie great to me. He begins as a racist, homophobic electrician with problems with alcohol, drugs and sex. However, an unlikely partnership with a transgender woman named Rayon (Jared Leto) leads to tolerance from a formerly bigoted man.
McConaughey’s acting is top-notch in this movie. He delivers powerful dialogue and fits the image of what I imagine a Texan to be like in the ‘80s. His presence added a sense of realism to the story.
I expected this movie to be more of a comedy and less of a drama, but I was very wrong. Although it has its comedic relief, “Dallas Buyers Club” is much more powerful than I expected it would be, and I would suggest it to those who like a compelling story with strong acting and development of characters.