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Lesson Transcript

In Medias Res
My husband and I do not go to the movies anymore. Cell phones, pagers, all manner of electronic devices, and just in general, inconsiderate people have made it a less-than-enjoyable activity, especially for the thirty or so dollars that it costs, all said and done.
So we rent movies online. Last night, we watched No Country for Old Men. It's easy for me to see why it was nominated for so many awards. The cinematography alone has that certain something that rivets the viewer's attention to the screen. However, it's the timeline, specifically the beginning and ending, which really stands out.
American viewers have become somewhat used to films starting in medias res, or "in the middle of things." Many movies now open after the main characters are already embroiled in their specific situations. But few movies end that way. I don't think I'm giving too much away if you haven't seen this movie, but be warned. Read no further if you don't want to know how it turns out.
The point is this movie does not end. There is no wrap-up, the bad guys do not get caught, and we don't know what happens to any of the characters after the portrayed events. Quite simply, this is art imitating life. The film begins and ends right smack in the middle of things, and it offers no closure. My husband is watching it again as I write, trying to make some sense of it. I tried to tell him.
There is none.