THE COEN BROTHERS: PRELIMINARY IMPRESSIONS

8 12 2009

Being a compulsive homebody, I missed decades of movies. Now, thanks to Netflix, I’m catching up.

The best directors so far have been the Coen brothers. I’ve now seen several movies by these guys. I haven’t seen “No Country for Old Men” yet, but I’ve enjoyed almost every other Coen Brothers movie I’ve seen, particularly “Miller’s Crossing”, but emphatically excluding “The Hudsucker Proxy”, which I thought was about a world that the brothers either don’t know much about or couldn’t find a way to make as dramatic as they usually prefer.

They seem somehow to know all about the world of dumb rednecks and their ilk, though. The proof of that is “Blood Simple”. And of course the sublime second example of that is “The Big Lebowski”. (You know — the movie whose main character always refers to himself as “The Dude”.) Turns out that that last film is a cult film. I’m not sure why. It’s not THAT great.

The Coen brothers seem to be at their best when they make movies about people who make very, very serious errors! “Fargo” is the primo example of that. “Miller’s Crossing”, on the other hand, when I saw it years ago, seemed to have a protagonist who actually was smart and on top of things. Anyway, that’s the way I remember it. Quite unusual for them.

Whatever else may be true of the Coen brothers’ movies, their plotting is always complex yet believable. What a pleasure to sit back and be told a story by these smart, smart guys!


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