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Ending Scene from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

by The Cine-Files

Bell's wife convinces him to describe his dreams from the previous night. This monologue ends the film. For as long as the voice is heard and the body not seen, it has “the scope of an oracle” but the voice is “submitted to the destiny of the body” once the voice and body are reunited in synchronous sound. Bell’s power and authority diminish over the course of the film as he goes from oracular disembodied voice to defeated old man, housebound and henpecked.The fact that Bell’s description of his dreams has an audience—his wife—is a choice that the Coen brothers made; in the McCarthy novel, Bell’s final speech is italicized, marking an inner monologue, and has no audience other than the reader. The choice by the Coen brothers to show this final monologue illustrates that their use of voice-over is strategic and thematically important.

-Laura Beadling

The complete text of Laura Beadling's piece can be found in the current issue of The Cine-Files at www.thecine-files.com.

Ending Scene from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

The narrator, Bell, loses his perceived position of power and authority over the course of the film, culminating in this completion of his journey from oracular disembodied voice to defeated old man.

from No Country for Old Men (2007)
Creator: Ethan and Joel Coen
Posted by The Cine-Files
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