Study Guide

No Country for Old Men Production Design

Production Design

From the first scene of No Country the Coens place a lot of emphasis on the landscape of West Texas. They emphasize the sounds of the sand and wind and play up the brightness of the sun reflecting off the desert, drying us out so much that we practically slurped our way through one of those giant Diet Cokes you can get at the movie theater.

Aside from their landscape lust, the Coens use a lot of interesting camera angles to keep us off-balance as viewers. Take the movie's opening scene, in which he get a from-above shot of Anton Chigurh washing his bloody wrists after strangling a deputy? Unusual and destabilizing? Yep. Memorable and eye-catching? Definitely.

There's also a funny side to the production of No Country. When the Coens shot the film in 2007, they shot it only a mile or so away from another prestige Western set in Texas: There Will Be Blood. Not only did There Will Be Blood become the Coens' biggest competitor for Best Film at the Academy Awards, but the Coens even had to stop filming one day because a giant cloud of black smoke had drifted over from the other movie's set.

No Country got the last laugh though: it captured the Best Film Oscar and defeated There Will Be Blood. (No but There Will Be Blood is still a really good movie tho.)