Out on DVD June 2nd, the Coen Brothers triumphant return to form : No Country For Old Men. Adapted from a Cormac McCarthy novel, Joel and Ethan Coen deliver a strict screen adaptation of the 2005 work of the same name. In ‘80s Texas, Moss (Josh Brolin) is out hunting when he happens upon the aftermath of a botched drug deal. Among the bullets, bodies and bloodshed, there is two million dollars for the taking. Moss takes the money but is soon pursued by Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), looking for the money and leaving a trail of dead men in his wake. Tommy Lee Jones plays the old-world sheriff Bell, who chases Moss in order to stop Chigurh. Relying on wide shots and prolonged silences to build the tension, ‘No Country For Old Men’ harks back to earlier Coen works such as ‘Blood Simple’ and ‘Fargo’. Performances are strong throughout with a confident Brolin taking the lead, Bardem offering an unnerving performance as the bowl-haired unstoppable killer and Jones capably capturing the confusion of a man who feels the world becoming a darker place. ‘No Country For Old Men’ is a film which deserves to be watched and re-watched – and now you can as it comes to DVD.
But what do you know about the actor who won an Oscar for his performance in the film? We look at ten fascinating Javier Bardem facts.
(1) His Best Actor nomination for ‘Before Night Falls’ made him the first Spanish actor to receive an Academy Award nomination and his Best Supporting Actor victory for ‘No Country for Old Men’ made him the first Spanish actor to win an Academy Award.
(2) Javier’s original interest was in painting, and he studied at Madrid’s Escuela de Artes y Oficios. Eventually, deciding he’d never be a talented painter, he drifted into a number of odd jobs, working as a bouncer, a writer, a construction worker, and even a stripper.
(3) To portray Reinaldo Arenas, Javier not only learned Cuban-Spanish, but Cuban-accented English, and lost 30 pounds to better resemble the smaller-framed Arenas.
(4) Bardem has four Goya Awards (the Spanish equivalent of the Oscar).
(5) In 2005, Bardem was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
(6) Bardem is very good friends with Penélope Cruz. The two were recently spotted in Dublin’s Christ church Cathedral. (7) He beat Johnny Depp for the role of Florentino Ariza in ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’.
(8) He was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#73).
(9) He dedicated the Oscar he won for No Country for Old Men to his mother, Pilar, whom he brought with him to the ceremony. At the end of his acceptance speech, Javier said to her (originally in Spanish), “Mom, this is for you, this is for your grandparents, for your parents, Rafael and Matilde, this is for the comics of Spain, who have brought, like you, the dignity and the pride to our job. This is for Spain and this is for all of you.”.
(10) The Bardem family owns a restaurant in Spain called La Bardemcilla. The restaurant is managed by Javier’s sister, Monica.