Lane focuses on one of her favorite Oscar-winning films. She recommends Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men, which won 4 Oscars for Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, and Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem).


Joel and Ethan Coen’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men was my first real Oscar pick. It’s a violent, suspenseful western with stand-out performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem. It’s atmospheric, thanks to incredible cinematographer Roger Deakins and minimal music from Carter Burwell. It meditates on good/bad guys while also subverting genre conventions.

In 2007 I was 15 and developing my “adult” taste for film. I remember rooting for Chicago or Lord of the Rings or Ray in past Oscar ceremonies, but I watched the event for pageantry and celebrity (let’s be honest, I still watch for that). No Country for Old Men is the first film I saw in theaters, appreciated, celebrated at the Oscars, and still enjoy today. 2007’s Best Picture category also included nominees AtonementJuno, Michael Clayton, and There Will Be Blood. What a year! Those nominees, also films I enjoy to this day, demonstrate how 2007’s Oscars selections shaped my taste and pushed me toward film. While the Oscars aren’t everything, they are a gateway drug to cinema.