Coen Brothers - The Movies and the Ranking!

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
What I'm getting from this list is that you're not a big fan of screwball comedy. You have ranked Intolerable Cruelty, Hudsucker Proxy, the transcendent O, Brother, Where Art Thou? and Raising Arizona way too low as a result.

Also, you like depressing movies, which isn't what I would have guessed.

Not true! I love comedies, and I think I wrote that Hudsucker Proxy (for example) is a personal favorite of mine. Big Lebowski and Hail, Caesar! are both in the top 4.

I meant it when I said that for the top 15, a person can make good arguments for many different rankings. Even looking at the list now, I both have to think, "How could I rank Burn After Reading so low?" but also think, "But wait, what am I going to move to rank it higher?"

That said, I would raise two separate points-

1. When it comes to screwball comedies, the Coens have one bad movie that they've ever made (The Ladykillers). I would also argue that they have one mediocre movie (Intolerable Cruelty). Don't get be wrong- Intolerable Cruelty isn't bad in the same way that The Ladykillers is a bad movie, but it's certainly not great in the same way that their other movies are. Personal opinions are what they are, but I think you have to be a true contrarian to rank their other comedies (or comedy-adjacent films) lower than that one.

2. I don't "like" bleak movies; obviously, I ranked Inside Llewyn Davis much lower than most Coen fans would. That said, I think that No Country is a masterpiece, and Barton Fink (in the way that it examines the creative process, similar to Kubla Khan: or A Vision in a Dream) has a special resonance with me.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Speaking of the creative process, I would love for someone to sit on the Coens, alone or separately, and get them to explain theirs, especially with mutant concepts like O, Brother or the Big Lebowski, which are insane on paper ("the Odyssey, but featuring singing Dustbowl-era prison escapees") but gel like they were the most obvious concepts all along.
 




Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Speaking of the creative process, I would love for someone to sit on the Coens, alone or separately, and get them to explain theirs, especially with mutant concepts like O, Brother or the Big Lebowski, which are insane on paper ("the Odyssey, but featuring singing Dustbowl-era prison escapees") but gel like they were the most obvious concepts all along.

"We didn't start with the premise of updating the Odyssey," says NYU-educated Joel. The setting came first. The situation, these three fugitives in the chain gang, given the Clooney character is trying to get back home, it just suggested the Odyssey to us."

Both admit they have never read Homer's epic poem, although they did read the classic comic version of it.

Ethan says it's "much easier that way. "It's very freeing, man. We're thinking of doing an adaptation of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit. We figure nobody knows the original and we don't have to read that. We can make up whatever we want."


Yeah, at a certain point I'm pretty pretty sure they are just messing with all of us.


.....good for them.
 





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