Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Guest Blog--And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to….

When I first told people that I was reading No Country for Old Men by Cormack McCarthy, they asked me about the extreme violence shown in the movie’s trailer and its ad campaign for Oscar.
I have to admit that I was excited to see the movie since I am a big fan of the Coen brother’s Fargo. I enjoyed the book, and the movie did it justice.

But what has perplexed me is the lack of discussion about the violence in the other Best Picture Nominee based on a bestselling book, Atonement.

Rape, pedophilia, and war are the conflicts faced by the characters in Ian McEwan’s Atonement. The extreme violence portrayed in the novel is often committed by aristocratic Brits. In a way, this lessens the impact and shock on the reader. This may be the Westerner in me, but I felt like a foreigner, an outsider, or mainly an American watching BBC-type violence, which is a little too romanticized for me.

There are copious levels of violence in both books, but I feel like McCarthy relates to the readers' own fears and resonates well with the common reader, while McEwan relates to Eastenders fans and lovers of other BBC-type shows, including PBS’s Mystery!.

This was one Academy Award that the Members got right.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

I love Eastenders and Mystery!, so that must mean I am a fan of romanticized violence. But I guess I've known that for a long time.