As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing & Hudsucker Proxy: the blurbs

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.

Miller’s Crossing
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.
Barton Fink
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.

2 Responses to “Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing & Hudsucker Proxy: the blurbs”

  1. […] Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing & Hudsucker Proxy: the blurbs […]

  2. […] Comments sarcastig on SuperbadAs Cool As A Fruitst… on Barton Fink, Miller’s Cr…Nick Plowman on SuperbadChuck on SuperbadKaj on […]

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