After appearing in a half-dozen instant classics, Tommy Lee Jones has stumbled over the past few years with "Man of the House," "The Missing" and "The Hunted"; after helming a half-dozen instant classics, the Coen Brothers have similarly been tripped up by the likes of "The Ladykillers" and "Intolerable Cruelty." It would seem that they need each other - and judging by the buzz around their upcoming flick, they make a helluva team.
"I don't think there's any question," Jones told us recently about "No Country for Old Men." "It's the best movie the boys have done."
After triumphant screenings at Cannes in May (where it was nominated for the Golden Palm), the flick is finally due in theaters in November. Oscar buzz has begun to surround not only the film, but also the work of stars like Javier Bardem, who plays a ruthless killer in the film.
"The screenplay is based on one of Cormac McCarthy's recent books," Jones said of the prize-winning American novelist. "I play the Sheriff of Terrell County in West Texas, who is starting to feel overwhelmed by the quality of crime, the character of the crime and violence that seems to be coming with the new century."
When a local man (Josh Brolin) finds himself in the middle of a drug deal gone bad, Lee's old-school character decides that protecting the civilian and his wife might be his last chance at battling back against the villainy around him. As more people pop up dead, and a stash of heroin and millions of dollars fuels the fire, the Coens bring viewers a bloody, twisting tale.
"There's lots of killing, a lot of violence," Jones warned, saying that the film is a throwback to such Coen classics as "Blood Simple".
But even "Miller's Crossing" and "Barton Fink" balanced their intensity with the Coens' offbeat humor, and Jones insisted that they've tried to squeeze in some mood-lightening moments again whenever possible. "I hope there are some laughs in it," he said of their intent.
Will "No Country" be a return to form for Jones and the Coens? Did they ever really go away? Sound off below!