Posted by Hedwig on February 26, 2008
That little guinea pig is getting to the big ones, starting with Best Director. It was a tight race, with #’s 1 and 2 getting an equal amount of votes, but the Coen brothers were four point behind… Well, if you know it’s not the Coens, you’ll know who it is, and you’ll understand why I really cannot wait until Thursday. Number 3 wasn’t too far behind, but the rest of the votes was distributed among an impressive number of worthy contenders.
My own votes went to 1. the Coens, 2. Todd Haynes, 3. Wes Anderson (yup, I was that lone vote) , 4. David Fincher and 5. Joe Wright, mostly because I felt bad about him getting snubbed at the Oscars for Jason Reitman.
Don’t forget to also check out the Best Cinematic Moment Muriels: the votes are, obviously, all over the place, but that category is a great way of re-living some of the nicest scenes. My votes were very similar to this post on the old blog, and added to that
- the moment that should get the award for “greatest use of Adrien Brody’s limbs – ever”: his running for the train in The Darjeeling Limited
- Juno telling her dad and stepmom about her pregnancy – see, I don’t hate Juno!
Biggest surprise? I was the only one who mentioned that great scene in the fog at the beginning of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, with Jesse James waiting for the train to arrive. Simply breathtaking. I’m still waiting for the director’s cut of that one, incidentally. And if anyone feels like sending it to me as a late, late birthday present, I won’t stop you
Posted in Awards | Tagged: Coen brothers, Juno, Muriel Awards, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert F, The Darjeeling Limited | 8 Comments »
Posted by Hedwig on February 20, 2008
The Coen series finally came to a conclusion yesterday with my second viewing of No Country For Old Men. And well… there is something I feel I should confess: I try mighty hard to come across as determined and opinionated and right, but the truth is I’m someone very prone to doubting her own thoughts and opinions. So after a number of friends told me they didn’t see the point of the Coens’ latest, and a rather vicious discussion in response to my review on filmtotaal, I started to question my dedication to this movie.
Who knew? Maybe it really wasn’t so great. Maybe I was influenced by writers I admire, maybe I was just practicing “intellectual masturbation”. Maybe I was just kidding myself, pretending that I “got” the movie, to feel superior and smart. Maybe I was simply too afraid to disagree with critical consensus. Maybe the emperor did, in fact, have no clothes on.
I needn’t have been scared: not only is the emperor fully dressed, but my, does he look handsome. ***SPOILERS WITHIN***
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Coen bros., New, Reviews | Tagged: Anton Chigurh, Carla Jean Moss, Carson Wells, Coen bros., Coen brothers, Ed Tom Bell, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Llewelyn Moss, No Country for Old Men, Tommy Lee Jones | 5 Comments »
Posted by Hedwig on January 13, 2008
Coen movie night #2 is upon us! We won’t actually be watching Barton Fink, but I really wanted to write a blurb anyway. I think I’m gonna try to stick to the thriller+comedy rythm, meaning next time (which will probably be after the film festival) will bring us Fargo & The Big Lebowski, and the time after that The Man Who Wasn’t There & O’ Brother Where Art Thou.
You could easily write a dozen essays about this movie. You could write at length about its noir influences, about the use of language, about the themes loyalty, death, chance, you could even see a political allegory of some kind in there. To the Coens, however, Miller’s Crossing is just a movie about a hat. It’s also, like Blood Simple, a movie about crime, adultery, murder, but this time it’s set during prohibition, and the protagonists are gangsters. Leo’s the boss, Velma is his wife, and Tom is his right hand, and that’s all I’m going to reveal about the plot.
The first Coen bros. movie made with their new DP Roger Deakins is about Barton Fink (John Turtutto), who writes plays about the common man. Or so he thinks. When he gets drafted by Hollywood to write a script “with that Barton Fink feeling”. He’s put up into a big hotel where he meets only creepy clerk Chet (played by Coen regular Steve Buscemi) and his neighbor Charlie (another regular: John Goodman), and promptly develops writer’s block – the Coens in fact wrote this film when they were suffering from the same condition on Miller’s Crossing. Stuck in the claustrophobia-inducing hotel, with nothing but a picture to look at and the wallpaper peeling off the walls, Barton Fink slowly goes crazy. As an audience, you think you might be, too. The crazy, out-there, apocalyptic finale doesn’t exactly lift the spirits, either, but you’ll never forget it.
The Hudsucker Proxy (blurb courtesy of Kaj)
The Hudsucker Proxy bombed upon release and was largely dismissed by the critics, but has since then gained a following and well deserved respect. Another great comedy by the Coens, a satire of the American Dream in which an innocent young man from the countryside arrives in New York and is soon placed at the top of a large company by cynical board members who want the company to go bankrupt, so they can by up it’s stock cheap. They didn’t count on him inventing the Hula Hoop. The meticulously scripted film is one of the Coens’ visually most arresting ones, and also one of their funniest. No Coen regulars were cast as main characters, but Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and especially Paul Newman are all wonderful, and enough Coen cronies turn up in small supporting roles. Works great as a homage to old screwball comedies in some parts and to Capraesque drama in others, and is delightful in all.
Posted in Coen bros. | Tagged: Albert Finney, Barton Fink, Coen brothers, Gabriel Byrne, hat, Hudsucker Proxy, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Goodman, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden, Miller's Crossing, noir, Paul Newman, Roger Deakins, Steve Buscemi, Tim Robbins | 2 Comments »