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"No Country For Old Men": No Movie For Animal Lovers

By admin Published: December 24, 2007

Not long ago, a reader called me to ask about "I Am Legend." She was worried about what happened to the dog in the movie. The question did not surprise me, because the bride -- who cannot stand to see animals harmed -- had had the same worry about the movie, and decided not to see it after watching a trailer in which the dog seemed to be in trouble. And I warned the reader accordingly.

This brings me to "No Country For Old Men," the latest movie from the Coen brothers, and one that has been on my catch-up list. ...

I enjoyed it a great deal, and might have liked it even more if the bride wasn't sitting next to me.

This movie is tough on animals, including a couple of dogs. It is so raw that way that, when a kitten appeared in a scene, all I could think was, "Oh, no, not a kitten, too." (Fortunately, that fear was unfounded. Still, I am sure the Coens put the kitten there just to increase the uneasiness in an audience that by then had seen plenty of humans and animals go in grisly fashion.)

Now, the violence makes sense in the context of the movie, which is thoroughly blood-soaked. But just as some people will be unnerved by what happens to the people in the film, others will not take kindly to the animals' treatment.

Nothing wrong with that. Lots of people have things they do not want to see or hear on the big screen -- including sex, nudity, certain kinds of language, specific themes. Witness the outcry against "The Golden Compass" from people who feel (wrongly, in my opinion) that it is anti-Christian, or the way many moviegoers have shunned the recent crop of movies about conflict in the Middle East.

And even as I was admiring a great deal of what "No Country For Old Men" did --and I may blog more about that another time -- I was well aware of how uncomfortable the bride was. I whispered at least one apology. And she gets to pick the next movie we see.

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