Archive for November, 2013

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All I want for Thanksgiving is Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

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Inside Llewyn Davis

Why this?

It’s a simple question with an altogether simple answer:  The Coen Brothers.

I was a Coen Brothers fan before I even realized who they were.  I remember catching Raising Arizona in the theater completely unaware of what they had previously done with Blood Simple.  It was such a wonderful movie.  I didn’t, hell, I couldn’t even fully appreciate what my 15-year-old eyes were seeing.  I’ve seen it dozens of times since and it grows in my estimation with every viewing.  It is, in my humble opinion, the best of their comedies.  And that’s saying a lot when you’re comparing it to the likes of Barton FinkThe Big Lebowski and O Brother Where Art Thou?

As much as I love the funny, it’s their crime flicks that really get me.  The aforementioned Blood Simple is an incredibly accomplished piece of sexy noir.  And it was their first movie!  Films like Miller’s Crossing, Fargo and the Best Picture winning No Country for Old Men cemented their reputation at blood-letting.

As the brothers have gotten older, they have found themselves straying occasionally into more contemplative fare like A Serious Man, their slice-of-life tale of a Jewish man in the full throes of a mid-life crisis.  Their latest would seem to fall squarely in line with this smaller film and, honestly, I’m okay with that.  It’s a week in the life of a folk singer in the early 60’s.  Seems simple enough.  But this is the Coens.  And things are rarely simple when they’re involved.

Now, the brothers are not immune to serving up a turkey or two.  I was not the biggest fan of The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty or Burn After Reading.  But, hey, everyone’s entitled to slip or two.  I trusted them enough to try those movies and I trusted them enough to try their next even after watching those.  They’ve got my faith.

They’ve earned it.  And I suspect that faith will be rewarded with Inside Llewyn Davis.  Late December can’t come soon enough.