O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

I promise you that I do still watch new movies and that I can still write new reviews, and that I don’t think everything is a 5-star movie.  Sometimes you just wanna watch something that you haven’t seen in years, and luckily I have a review already written that still applies.  And here it is:

This is going to be one of those reviews where the outcome is fairly obvious from the get-go. I’m a pretty big fan of the Coen brothers, as they always seem to make their movies because they love them, not just because they’re a hot property or shocking real life event. In fact, one of the tag lines behind Fargo was that it was Based on Actual Events, when in reality, it was just another one of those kooky Coen brothers ideas. Or an amalgamation of two previous crimes, whatever. Anyways, the Coens went so far as to say that they’d never read “The Odyssey” written centuries ago by Homer, when the whole movie is basically a modern retelling of that tale. Kind of like 10 Things I Hate About You, only with much less high school. And an Odyssey that they go on.

Besides the fact that O Brother is a gorgeous looking movie, it also boasts an engaging plot that pulls the viewer along. This wouldn’t be possible if the characters going on the journey were unlikable smart alecks. Thankfully, George Clooney infuses Everett with every bit of buffoonish charm that he’s been storing up since leaving “Roseanne” years and years ago. Clooney plays Everett as the leader of the trio of prison escapees, though I’d say it’s more by lack of smarts in both Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) and Pete (John Turturro) rather than Everett being a born leader.

Delmar is a wonderfully naive fellow, while Pete plays the part of the cynical one. Both are remarkably winning despite having to play second fiddle to Everett for most of the movie. They do get their moments to shine in the sun though, have no fear. The rest of the cast reads like a Coen brothers Hall of Fame: John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning, etc. All of them know what they’re getting into with the Coens, and know exactly how to play their parts. Bah, this whole review is just going to be saying how much I love this movie, so we’ll skip to my only minor quibble.

What is the time frame for this film? At the beginning of the movie, Everett mentions that they have four days to retrieve the treasure before it’s under a lake. Yet, once the Soggy Bottom Boys single takes off, it’s in stores THE NEXT DAY!? Then other customers come in and ask for it, and so on. Yet by the end of the movie, Everett and the boys make their way just in time to the place where the treasure was supposed to be. Plus, the pacing of the movie, what with the occasional montages and such, would seem to indicate that the whole journey took two weeks or so.

That’s just something that bugs me in hindsight about the movie. While I’m watching it though, I’m loving every minute of it. From Pete’s womanly screams when they encounter the hot Sirens, to Delmar’s hilarious frog assumption. Mostly though, it’s all about enjoying Clooney while he’s up there, acting like an idiot, purely for the love of the Coen brothers movies, and to prove that he’s a far better actor than he’s ever been credited for. Although I guess he did win an Oscar that one year for Syriana. Anyways, everyone should watch this movie and love it.

5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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