A fantastic screen adaptation of an amazing story. Viggo Mortensen as The Man and Kodi Smit-McPhee as The Boy are excellent, not only in their own right but also in the powerful and believeable chemistry they share on screen. If there’s any justice there are some awards here.
McCarthy’s almost cinematic storytelling tranfers well to screen. The film is visually arresting, lifting the bleak descriptions from the book and giving them three dimensional depth. Inevitably, some sequences from the book have been shortened, but none of this in any way reduces the impact or flow of the story. The added scenes of The Man and his wife, developed from fragments of detail in the book, work well, filling out a little more of the past in a way that supports the main thrust of the story but without treading on the unexplained mystery of the apocalypse.
This is one of those films that could almost do without a score. No Country for Old Men is somehow the darker for the absence of music for most of the film. However, if anyone could do it, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis are a great choice for their insight and sensitivity in a score that is appropriate and works well without being intrusive.
But the main players in the film are the tortured landscape and the fragility of relationships. When you have nothing, what do you hold on to? After the end of any law, how are people to live?