The Oscars: A dark view on dark times


It used to be that violence, even more than comedy, was the kiss of death for Oscar movies. Then came blood-saturated films like "Crash" and "The Departed," which overturned some of those rules.

But perhaps no movie exemplifies how the Oscars have changed than this year's best picture winner, "No Country for Old Men," a dark, disturbing thriller from the Coen brothers.

Shot in a deliberative, unsentimental style, "No Country" is a bone-chilling tale of violence, stupidity and revenge, with a relentless, amoral killer (played by supporting actor winner Javier Bardem) at its center, coolly dispatching anyone in his way with a cattle gun. It is not the only acclaimed movie to have emerged from a forbidding corner of the American psyche. Many of this year's most compelling movies -- notably, two other best picture nominees, "There Will Be Blood" and "Michael Clayton," as well as "American Gangster," "Eastern Promises," "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" -- were meditations on violence, betrayal, revenge and grand ambition run amok.

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

Awards, Commentary, Hollywood

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