More ‘No Country for Old Men’ questions and answers

I cannot tell you how glad I am that Miramax sent out screeners of “No Country for Old Men” to the various critics’ groups. If I’d had to wait until it actually came out on DVD to resolve these questions, it surely would have driven me crazy.

Some astute readers have posted follow-up questions and observations on my previous two posts about this movie (here and here), and since I have the resources, here are some answers!

Q Tip: “When [Bell] pulls up to the motel there are two doors that are roped off in the crime scene and both room doors seem to have their locks blown out by the pressurized cow-killer.”

Marie: “There were two hotel rooms with locks blown out. I supposed that he was in the room next door, after it was confirmed that he was not in the room Bell entered. And I assumed that Sheriff Bell sensed that as well, but backed away and didn’t attempt anymore exploration, because he knew that he was just an old man, not up for the fight.”

The police tape is wrapped around two poles and encompasses two hotel rooms, Moss’ (114) and the one next to it (112). I can’t say for sure that 112’s lock has been blown off. We only see it in one shot, and it’s in shadow.

More important, though: The door on 114 is the mirror image of 112. If you were to enter room 114, as Bell does, the door would swing open to your right. Opening room 112, the door would swing open to your left.

This is important because of how Chigurh (or Bell’s imagination of Chigurh) is positioned. Backed up against the wall behind the door, the door is to his left. The yellow light on the right of the frame is the door hinge. That configuration would only work in Moss’ room 114, not in 112 next door.

You can see this also in the shot of the blown-out lock from Chigurh’s point of view. That angle would be reversed if he were standing behind the door in the other room.

Kourtney: “If Bell is imagining Chigurh in the motel room behind the door, it would follow that Chigurh’s tears during this scene are also imaginary, right? ”

This is a minor point, of course, but I don’t think Chigurh is crying. There are no tears streaming down his face, anyway. The light catches a gleam in his eye (as seen above), but I think it’s just the natural moistness of the eye.

Marie: “Anybody here read the book? Maybe that would help clarify things.”

Someone said in another thread that in the book, Chigurh is not in the room at all, but is watching Bell from a parked car nearby.

Peter Fisher: “My recollection of the air vent in the motel room where Llewelyn dies is that it wasn’t large enough to house the money bag.”

You may be right about that. I don’t think the briefcase would fit in the hole. However, it would fit in that rectangular space at the front of the duct. With the vent in place over it, it would be hidden well enough.

Any other mysteries need clearing up? I have the DVD right here, and I’m prepared to use it!

[NOTE: Before posting comments with additional questions or observations, please read these other posts — “The status of Moss”; “Bell and Chigurh and the motel room” — to see if the issues have already been addressed.]