Director Profile: Joel and Ethan Coen
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a film that I sorta didn't believe existed for a while. A Coen Brothers musical? It still sorta baffles me, but I must say this is a damn fine film. Not only is this film hilarious, the songs in it are incredible. The comedy gets absurd and outrageous many times throughout the film, but that's just quintessential Coen Bros humor. It's definitely one of their strongest efforts, with a strange comedic air to it. Their next film, The Man Who Wasn't There, couldn't have felt anymore different. Filmed in good old black and white, it features some really hard hitting voice-over work from Billy Bob Thornton. The noir elements in this film are used very well, like the previously mentioned black and white cinematography, and a lot of the writing. The characters are unique and the plot becomes more intricate as the film progresses, which can be said about a lot of the brother's work. Up until this point in their careers, the Brothers had only made great films, but their next two films are ones that I don't consider to be good. Intolerable Cruelty as a whole feels like a very forced mess. Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney just did not really work well together, the story gets tiresome and uninteresting, and worst of all, it is NOT FUNNY. I laughed more watching No Country for Old Men, for fuck's sake. Over all, this film is just very dull, which is unfortunate. The Ladykillers, while not being a great film, it sometimes an entertaining one. The performances here are really over-the-top, with some of the most ridiculous accent work I've ever heard in my life. Tom Hanks and J.K. Simmons are pretty entertaining here. To date, these two films are considered the low point in the Coens' filmography, and it's easy to see why. Luckily, things would get much MUCH better, and very soon too.
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