MOVIE REVIEW: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - #Repost @bobks_moviemania
🎥 THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS • 2018 • Directed by Joel & Ethan Cohen • USA • Comedy/Drama 🍅RT: 92% 🔶MetaCritic: 78
IN A SENTENCE: This six-segmented anthology experiment might be uneven in quality, but it serves one’s hunger for hootenanny and death.
REVIEW: Is it the Cohen’s most brilliant turn? Not by a long shot. Is it at least a good film? Absolutely. THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS finds almost its full glory in the bookends. The opener, which gives title to the film, is a tiny masterpiece of American magical realism shot through with outlandish humor, absurd violence, meat-headed hubris, and rogue idiosyncrasy. Buster, manically played by Tim Blake Nelson, is the kind of invincible-seeming outlaw that might be initially worshipped by… say… a breed of today’s Trump supporters, only Buster is better dressed and several octaves more charming. It’s fascinating to watch what becomes of him at the hands of the decidedly more cynical (and pragmatic) directors. The closing segment, ‘The Mortal Remains’, is not only one of the most sharply written things to grace the cinema of 2018, but for this viewer, also one of the funniest. Five passengers in a stagecoach manage blustering monologues and comic timing as if these were afternoon tea, only to have the whole thing turn toward a somber mystery that, if we’ve paid one iota of attention, turns out to be no mystery at all. It’s a perfectly enjoyable ride, even in its less crackling passages, and for heaven’s sake it’s on Netflix. Give yourself the pleasure.
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