Dear Captain Vidal and Pale Man,
Only in the course of fighting throug this grueling maze you call a tournament has it become clear to me that ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ is my favorite film of the 2000s. I voted for it and if there truly is a shining Otherworld, I will keep voting for it until ultimate victory. Hope springs eternal.
What a bummer that this is most likely the end of the line for Pan's Labyrinth. It's such a lush, personal, rewarding film that overflows with Del Toro's care and passion for what he creates. As great as No Country may be, it really boils down to being a note-perfect reading of a preexisting McCarthy novel (one that will still exist even if the film gets incinerated, mind you). Pan's Labyrinth is swimming in imagination, referential to the monster movies and fairytales of Del Toro's youth but still its own one-of-a-kind beast whose grotesque beauty left me in tears by the end. No such thing as a wasted vote, I'm going with Pan's!
The only thing that makes me hesitate here is the fire. Pan's Labyrinth is a work of such personal vision, imagination and charm, I can almost see its monstrous puppy-eyes looking at me as I dangle it over the inferno. No Country for Old Men is a much tougher customer; it would probably welcome the flames with a shrug and a poignant line about the certainty of death.
We are all going to die, life is random and we fumble for meaning. When we wonder why Pan's Labyrinth had to go into the incinerator, we'll have a masterful movie that wonders along with us.
I have never had major love for No Country, so I re-watched it for this tournament. And while I do enjoy it more now than I ever have before, Pan’s Labyrinth stands out as a more unique film. If I have to destroy one, then I choose to get rid of a movie that feels like too many others. As a result, there is no country for No Country.
Rewatched No Country last night for first time since cinema release to double check I was happy with this vote. It’s a great, grim movie. But Pan’s Labyrinth feels like a more unique piece of cinema and that’s the film I’d want to revisit in years to come. I also remember being very annoyed when No Country beat There Will be Blood at the Oscars so we I can’t risk that happening again in Madness.
Both films have great directors and characters. While many would put this tough choice to a coin toss, I am following something inside me that wishes fairytales were true - possibly like the fairytale where the complex, dreamy film beat out the persistently brutal one. While the merits of No Country are undeniable, in my view it is Pan's Labyrinth that reaches for something wholly unique and worthy. Beyond the stunning design and creativity of the film - it incarnates the darkness of humanity alongside its brightness, and when it embraces flesh, blood, tears, mud, and slime it is in pursuit of a spirit of something beautiful or sacred.
A special kind of torture in splitting the hairs of two scary good experiences. What's the most you've ever lost on a coin toss?
Pan's Labyrinth is a creative fantasy and del Toro's magnum opus to boot- perhaps even a stroke of genius in filmmaking and storytelling. No Country for Old Men is a wonderful book by Cormac McCarthy and one of the better films among the Coen Brothers' great corpus. I can live with McCarthy's book but not without the wonderful mythological creation of Pan's Labyrinth. I don't need a movie to tell me how dark the world is, but how wonderful our dreams and longings.
No coin toss necessary. Pan's Labyrinth is a fantastic film, a masterpiece in its own right, but it's just not No Country for Old Men. So few films are.
This one is completely easy. Just watched Pans for the first time a few weeks ago and it’s good. Just good. Only good. No Country For Old Men is a film that I liked after my first time and after a rewatch it blew my mind. It’s a masterpiece.
I hate you! This is impossibly tough. No Country is a Coens masterwork, of direction, cinematography, sound, acting and I adore it. Pans however is part of my soul, lives with me, moves me, lives in my emotions, lights up my imagination, inspires me, terrifies me and made me love it with all my heart. I reject the madness rules, even if No Country goes through, Pans will live on in my heart and head and I vote for it without question.
For me, I don't think anything can match the atmosphere of and tension in No Country..
If nothing else, this tournament made me finally revisit Pan's Labyrinth for the first time since it came out. Which was an incredibly rewarding re-watch. Such a great film, with a true sense of purpose about what it's trying to convey about storytelling and the human experience.
No Country is just a better film. I'm guessing the results of this poll will show that most people agree.
I went with Pan. Yes, I know. Country will probably advance and it's great and all that, but Pan stayed with me in a way few movies do. That's why it gets my vote.
Still salty about A Serious Man getting taken down by a M Night movie.
Pan is great, and Country is great. For me what separates it are the bad guys. Pan’s Sergi Lopez as the military leader is threatening, especially when he takes that shot with a hole in his cheek. But, it has to be Country’s Anton Chigurg
Pan is great, and Country is great. For me what separates it are the bad guys. Pan’s Sergi Lopez as the military leader is threatening, especially when he takes that shot with a hole in his cheek. But, it has to be Country’s Anton Chigurh. Chigurh would make quick work of Pan’s baddie and his self surgery is more impressive as well. So Country it is.
Toughest matchup so far for sure! Wow! This was so difficult to decide, but it all boiled down to me being able to read No Country for Old Men in the novel form and not being able to do that for Pan’s Labyrinth.
Ugh, this was a lot harder for me than I expected. Pan's Labyrinth has something that I treasure in the stories I consume, in addition to the vivid, lush visuals del Toro steeps us in: it's got profound stakes, it plumbs the darkness, and despite tragedy it finds a way to bring us some hope. I held onto that hope for a long time thinking about this matchup, but in the end I went for No Country, in no small part because of that final scene where Tommy Lee Jones describes his dream. That monologue is not without hope. It's not shining like a princess in her kingdom, it's grubbier, more fleeting, and only dimly felt, but it's there. At least, that's what I'm telling myself to ease this particular blow.
Pan's labyrinth gave a great movie experience, but come on, No country for old men is simply better.
I know. Everyone thinks I'm crazy, and I'll be happy to see No Country advance as I'm sure it will, but I actually voted Pan's Labyrinth. I love No Country, but Pan's was one of the most impactful movies to me ever. I remember looking up the director, and couldn't wait to see what Del Toro's imagination would bring next. And honestly, it was also a little funny watching parents taking their little kids out when they realized it was an "adult" fairy tale, and not just a fairy tale!
I can hear Woody's Carson Wells now. "Do you have any idea just how crazy you are?" I can live with that. As long as I don't come home to Anton Chigurh sitting in my living room. MADNESS.
Let me ask you this, "Pan's Labyrinth". If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?