Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Christopher Orr at The Atlantic has been doing a running an evaluation of all the Coen brothers movies released to date. A worthy project, for sure.

Anyone who knows me could tell you I'd rate The Hudsucker Proxy much, much, MUCH higher than Orr does. Then again the world doesn't seem to share my affection for films in which Tim Robbins plays an amiable goofball. See also the general coldness to Cadillac Man, pretty much my favorite Robin Williams movie.

I'd say he's pretty much right about The Ladykillers, but even that exercises the Coens' skill set. It's just that the original drew its power from making variations on a very basic theme: ruffians trying to get the better of a sweet old lady. So their skill at creating specificity and quirk, usually an asset, drags the premise down this time around.


susan said...

We really liked The Hudsucker Proxy too so you're not alone in that opinion. I'd have put The Big Lebowski higher on the list and dropped Llewllyn Davis closer to the bottom - next to The Ladykillers. I never could figure out why they decided to remake that one because it was perfect as it was. Alec Guinness was a marvel.

Ben said...

I respected ILD but can see why some might dislike it. The Dave Van Ronk connection is probably a red herring. Oscar Isaac sounds nothing like him.

Definitely the Ladykillers was an unnecessary remake. Luckily the original is still around. Hopefully some will find it.