Did the ending to “No Country For Old Men” leave you cold and confused? Here’s why.


You can find this article in its entirety HERE


You can’t help but compare yourself against the old-timers.  Can’t help but wonder how they would’ve operated these times.”  

                        -Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, No Country for Old Men, screenplay adapted by Joel & Ethan Coen based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy


Which one of these is not like the others?

Loved the movie. Didn’t get the ending.

Those words were shared by many a movie-goer upon viewing Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2007 Academy Award winning film No Country for Old Men, but perhaps little do they realize that’s exactly how the filmmakers wanted it to be.

To understand this, we must first realize that all good stories – in addition to a compelling plot – have a main character that provides the audience with a number of important functions, perhaps none more so than perspective. Perspective is what allows us to have empathy for characters, giving us the opportunity, safely seated in the audience, to experience the trials and tribulations of someone else while figuratively walking in their shoes.

We’ve found a new home!  You can read the rest of this article as well as others HERE





About Jim Barker

A multi-award winning sculptor who uses a pen to shape words on a page that leave impressions in the mind.
Video | This entry was posted in Perspective, Story Structure and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Did the ending to “No Country For Old Men” leave you cold and confused? Here’s why.

  1. thepissedoffpundit says:

    Hey, mate, fantastic post on the differences between protagonist and main character. I hadn’t thought about it before, but seems you hit the target from a mile away. Good job! FYI, I come from Scriptshadow. Interesting to see what the patrons there are up to. Hope you keep these coming. I certainly enjoyed it–and even better, learned from it.


    • Thanks for the compliment – I was a bit hesitant to read when I saw it was from “thepissedoffpundit”, lol. I’ll do more in the future, using The Shawshank Redemption and To Kill a Mockingbird, but it’s a concept that’s foreign to a lot of people because most American cinema bundles the two functions together. Separating them can cause a lot of people confusion when trying to provide analysis if they’re not receptive to the notion they don’t have to be the same (e.g. Red vs. Andy, Red being the main character who we feel the story through while Andy drives it, but remains somewhat distant.)

      Good writing’s designed to make you feel what the main character does, putting you in their shoes so you learn and feel what they do when they do (we learn of Andy’s escape when Red does).

      More importantly, Red carries that transformative message of hope for the audience because most people in this world are cynical; very few of us walk around like Andy!

      Anyway, I’m rambling – save it for a later post! Next one up, hopefully tomorrow, will be on A Beautiful Mind’s much misdiagnosed Inciting Incident.


  2. Pingback: Tunneling to the heart of The Shawshank Redemption

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