Burn After Reading mirrors No Country’s pessimism, presenting inevitable suffering, failure and death in a farcical rather than purely dramatic context. The thematic parallels allow the films to work companion pieces, similarly to the complementary pairing of Miller’s Crossing and Barton Fink.
No Country is an exceptionally difficult film because it doesn’t even hint at a resolution or solution to the fatalistic pessimism of the story. We’re left to figure out for ourselves whether harsh vision of reality it depicts is true.
I’m declaring The Ladykillers officially underrated. A comedy that takes place mostly inside one house over the course of a few days, it’s the smallest and least ambitious of the filmography so far, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do with aplomb.
As far as rom-coms go, it’s a lot more com than rom. This is partly by design; the Coens are more interesting in playing with screwball and noir elements and crafting rapid-fire dialogue than they are in portraying an actual romantic relationship.
While critics went nuts for the beautiful black-and-white cinematography and Thornton's performance, The Man is easily my least favorite entry in the Coen filmography.
Moving forward into the post-millennium era of the Coens' work, I wasn't expecting any of the more recent films to affect me as deeply as the one-two cinematic punch of Fargo and The Big Lebowski, but I was floored by revisiting 2000's O Brother, Where Art Thou. The Coens' films are frequently accused of being cynical, sardonic genre pastiches, … Continue reading The Coen Project Part 8: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
I haven’t officially signed up for the church of Dudeism, but I'll admit I'm a bit of a Lebowski fanatic. I've spent more time than anyone should trying to figure out what books the Dude has on his coffee table, and I own an (almost) exact replica of the Dude's Pendleton sweater. Despite these patterns … Continue reading The Coen Project Part 7: The Big Lebowski