Study Guide

No Country for Old Men Loretta Bell (Tess Harper)

Loretta Bell (Tess Harper)

Loretta Bell only shows up twice in the movie and both times only in relation to her hubby. The first time, she sees Ed Tom off after he packs up her horse and heads out to the scene of a botched drug buy. Not much to say about that. The second time, she sits with him for breakfast after he's retired and asks him about the dreams he had the night before.

For the most part, Loretta plays the role of a sounding board for Ed Tom's final speech, where he reflects on the nature of hope and despair, chaos and meaning. Our biggest question here is why the Coen brothers slash Cormac McCarthy, chose to make the only two female characters not much more than backdrops to the story—but, hey, what do you expect from a Western?