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The Films of the Coen Brothers

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Poll: The Films of the Coen Brothers

Which film is your favorite?

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#21 M. Leary

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:06 AM

I go with A Serious Man because it is basically a distillation of almost every other Coen Brothers film. It serves as the theological center for their work. I am grateful that they made the film, as it makes very clear sense of why they do what they do.

Otherwise Raising Arizona is one of the films that made me start realizing what film is all about, so that one is high on my list.

"LEBOWSKI is the cinematic equivalent of the ultimate drinking buddy..." That is exactly right. Well stated.

#22 Overstreet

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:28 AM

I'm also surprised that Barton Fink hasn't gotten any votes. Well, maybe I'm not surprised...I don't know many people that list it as their favorite Coen brothers movie, even if it is one they like. Still, I feel like it's a dense, rich movie that works on all different kinds of levels.


Barton Fink sits securely in my 2nd Place spot.

#23 Darryl A. Armstrong

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:58 PM

Mmmm. Glad to see I wasn't the only one to cast a vote for O Brother. I know there are plenty of criticisms that can and have been leveled against it, but I just kinda love it more than any of their other films.

Raising Arizona is the only one I still haven't seen or watch again pretty much anytime. I've tried, but Nic Cage is the filmic equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to me in what I've seen of it.

#24 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 05:23 PM

Given all the love for Raising Arizona here -- love that I share, incidentally, as much as one can when one hasn't seen the film since the '80s -- I might as well re-post that dialogue between Christian Toto (who loves the movie) and our very own vjmorton (who hates it, calling it "a white minstrel show", etc.; he also makes an interesting connection between the Lone Bicker of the Apocalypse in this film and the generally respected Javier Bardem character in No Country for Old Men).

#25 Gavin Breeden

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:52 PM

I'm also surprised that Barton Fink hasn't gotten any votes. Well, maybe I'm not surprised...I don't know many people that list it as their favorite Coen brothers movie, even if it is one they like. Still, I feel like it's a dense, rich movie that works on all different kinds of levels.


I love Barton Fink and would place it among the best of the Coens' films. While I've met a decent number of people who love it (mostly big Coen Bros fans), none of them claimed it as their favorite because there was always another that stood a little taller.

Here is a great article at Slate about averaging all the Coen Bros. rankings out there into one list to rule them all.

According to the article, Barton Fink is ranked as high as 2 on some lists and as low as 13 on other lists.

He eventually breaks down the Coens' work into categories:


The Trinity

Fargo
The Big Lebowski
No Country for Old Men

The Great Oddities

A Serious Man
Barton Fink
Raising Arizona

Superb Entertainments

Miller's Crossing
Burn After Reading
Blood Simple
True Grit

Interesting Misfires

The Man Who Wasn't There
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Hudsucker Proxy

Watchable

Intolerable Cruelty

Unwatchable

The Ladykillers



I think there's something to his list, though I have a few quibbles. Of course, for anyone who claims the title of "Coen Bros fan," it's really hard to pick any one of their films above the others, especially considering how varied their work is. One thing we can all agree on: The Ladykillers is the worst!

Edited by Gavin Breeden, 11 September 2011 - 03:53 PM.


#26 John Drew

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 10:16 PM

...I have a few quibbles.


Right off the bat, mine would be the categorization of The Man Who Wasn't There. Definitely should replace one of the films listed under great oddities (Raising Arizona perhaps?). Or expand that category to four films.

edit: Actually, perhaps I would just retitle the "Interesting Misfires" category... they are three films I find myself revisiting on a fairly regular basis.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah, 11 September 2011 - 10:21 PM.


#27 Andrew

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 04:38 PM

...And I've only seen The Ladykillers once, but I found it quite watchable.

#28 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 09:33 PM

I just watched the Ladykillers. While it wasn't great, it wasn't unwatchable. Thought Clooney would have played the role better than Hanks.

#29 Christian

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 03:36 PM

Jeffrey Wells reflects on the turnaround in his assessment of Miller's Crossing.

I saw it again on Bluray this morning and everything changed. Now it's a near-masterpiece. Now I plan to watch it every year or so for the rest of my life.

Wow, did he really wait to rewatch it until its Blu-ray release? Better late than never.

Edited by Christian, 15 October 2011 - 03:37 PM.


#30 Christian

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:53 PM

I found myself at Barnes & Noble Christmas Eve day, holding the Coen Brothers Blu-ray box set, which was priced at 40% off, and wondering if I should strike. I didn't, but now I have some gift cards to use. It's hard for me to justify repurchasing four titles I already own in another format, but those movies are so great.

#31 Overstreet

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:31 AM

Well, this was a hoot and a holler...

O Coen Brothers, Where Art God? A Conversation Between Matt Zoller Seitz and Jeffrey Overstreet

Edited by Overstreet, 31 March 2013 - 10:31 AM.


#32 M. Leary

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:56 AM

The goodness of this is overflowing.

#33 Overstreet

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:38 AM

The goodness of this is overflowing.


Wow, thanks, Michael.

#34 Christian

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:43 PM

I'll pile on and say it was a great read -- maybe a little too great, as I couldn't absorb everything in one sitting!

#35 Nathaniel

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:46 PM

I concur! Excellent conversation, with many valuable observations throughout. I especially like this:

The Coens seem to get a kick out of tantalizing us with answers while laughing at the very idea that there could be answers.

and this:

But there is something out there, some kind of offer of grace, and when we glimpse that, goodness happens in us.

Well done, Jeffrey (and Matt).

Edited by Nathaniel, 01 April 2013 - 01:46 PM.


#36 Overstreet

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:01 PM

Thanks, Christian and Nathaniel.

And thanks, Andrew Sullivan!

#37 Rushmore

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 12:19 PM

I went into Raising Arizona last night skeptically, thinking there was no way a Nicolas Cage comedy could ever surpass A Serious Man or True Grit or even Blood Simple.

 

How wrong can you get?



#38 Mark R.Y.

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:40 PM

This is a particularly intriguing interview with the boys:

 

http://bryanappleyar...-for-arts-sake/


Edited by Mark R.Y., 24 December 2013 - 04:43 PM.


#39 Overstreet

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:46 PM

I went into Raising Arizona last night skeptically, thinking there was no way a Nicolas Cage comedy could ever surpass A Serious Man or True Grit or even Blood Simple.

 

How wrong can you get?

 

thumbsup.gif



#40 Christian

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 12:06 PM

I found myself at Barnes & Noble Christmas Eve day, holding the Coen Brothers Blu-ray box set, which was priced at 40% off, and wondering if I should strike. I didn't, but now I have some gift cards to use. It's hard for me to justify repurchasing four titles I already own in another format, but those movies are so great.

A year later, this set was given to me by my wife as a Christmas present.







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