Even though Inside Llewyn Davis is a period piece, it feels like a sharp reflection of the moment of its creation, more than any prior Coen film.
While the Coen version of True Grit is structurally a straightforward Western, on a deeper level it engages with a type of narrative that the directors had never attempted before -- the coming-of-age story.
Probably the closest thing to a horror film that the Coens have yet made, a semi-surrealist American nightmare set in a stand-in for their own Minnesota hometown.
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.
I didn't grow up watching horror movies, and until recently never thought I was missing out on anything. Horror is the only genre that seems acceptable to completely opt out of -- people don't say they never watch action films, or never watch period dramas, but I have plenty of friends who categorically refuse to … Continue reading Christine VS 80’s Round 4: Horror Edition
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?