Tuesday, August 08, 2006

At special request

In the pantheon of American filmdom, two of the most unique cinematic voices are apparently those of the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. In 2000 they released O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a loose adaptation of Homer's Odyssey set in the American South in the 1930s. George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson play three convicts who escape from a chain gang to search for a fabled treasure. The Homer story works well transplanted to a period setting, as does the use of bluegrass music. The cast of character actors and marquee names seem to revel in playing against their usual screen personas. All in all, I found this film to be an amusing way to fill in a quiet weekend afternoon, and a refreshing alternative to most mainstream American films.

1 comment:

Glen O'Brien said...

Glad you finally caught up with this gem. I not your review shows only mild appreciation. Me, I think it's the Coen Brothers' best film! You ask why? Okay, it's not as witty or as edgy or as well written or acted as Fargo. But then it's not as violent either and it doesn't have any sex scenes. It's a more innocent kind of film with a Chaplinesque charm about the clowns at the heart of the narrative. And it has a killer soundtrack that made America sit up and remember that "country" music is not synonymous with Nashville but has much deeper "old timey" Gospel roots. It's been a while...I think I'll go home and watch it again.