Weekly Top Ten- #4
My 10 Favorite Coen Brothers Films
Tonight, I was inspired to write about the Coen Brothers due to the pictures released today. If you were to ask me, I'd say that Joel and Ethan Coen are some of the most talented artists working in the film industry today. They have proven over the years that their films can give you stomach pain from laughter. They have also proved that they can shock you with tense drama. They are men with many talents, and I am happy to have seen their work.
Now, like most of my top ten lists so far, there are a few rules. I have not seen every Coen Brothers movie. Plus, there are some I haven't been a huge fan of (The Ladykillers, Burn After Reading.) So keep that in mind as you read on.
10. True Grit (2010)
With "True Grit," I feel as if the Coen brothers did the unthinkable. I never thought the original "True Grit" needed to be remade. Yet, the Coen brothers made a very good remake. I can't count on one hand how many successful remakes have been created. I never thought anybody could fill the shoes John Wayne left behind in the original either. But Jeff Bridges does outstanding work here. I find it unfair to compare Bridges to Wayne, simply because the stories have different moods and tones. Both actors do exceptional work in their films.
9. Blood Simple (1984)
For filmmakers, its got to be tricky hitting a home run out the ball park when its your first time batting. But I am happy to report that the Coen Brothers did. The first film they ever made was "Blood Simple," a creepy little thriller which blew my mind completely. This is one of the films that proves that these brothers of men of many talents. What I love most about this film is that it feels like a modern day 50's thriller, Hitchcock would have loved this movie.
8. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
I never thought I would ever be a fan of bluegrass music until I saw this movie. Easily one of Clooney's finest moments. "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is a delight. Loosely (and I mean VERY loosely) based upon The Odyssey by Homer, it tells the story of man who is planning to find his wife before she remarries. The man has escaped from prison with two buffoons, and they have many misadventures. The film is very funny and features great music.
7. A Serious Man (2009)
A movie about a man who undergoes a mid-life crisis. That may sound like the road to "been there, done that," but the Coen's have a talent to make it all feel fresh. This is a very strange movie, of course. It wouldn't be a Coen brother's movie without a lot of weirdness. But underneath it all, this is movie is richly imagined and darkly humorous.
6. Barton Fink (1991)
I am usually a sucker for films about the film business. This one is no different. There is an eloquent charm to this movie that I find irresistible. This is easily the best outing John Turturro and John Goodman had with the Coen's. This is definitely one of their more human stories. The cast shines in the film and all I can say is I love it very much.
5. Raising Arizona (1987)
Sometimes I wish Nic Cage would ditch action and solely work with comedy. He seems a lot better suited for that genre than the former. He has proven that in "Raising Arizona" a delightful comedy. Nic Cage never seems more alive in the rest of his career compared to his performance in "Raising Arizona." Like I said, the guy should do more comedy.
4. No Country For Old Men (2007)
Words can barely scratch the surface of why I love this movie so much. Javier Bardem is sinister in a wonderful way. He truly earned his golden statue at the Academy Awards in 2008, it was easily one of the best performances from that decade. From any actor, bar none. The rest of the performances are great, as Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin shine. The story well-written and aggressively told, everything great we have come to expect from a good crime drama.
3. Miller's Crossing (1990)
Just when you thought "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas" were the final words for gangster films. "Miller's Crossing" is another film I would put next to those other films. It transcends the gangster genre to point that seemed unreachable. Filled with great sets, scenes, and characters, the film is a shock to the system. And I mean that in the best possible way.
2. Fargo (1996)
Aspiring actresses should buy this film and study Frances McDormand's performance in this movie. In my mind, she has the most incredible performance by a woman in any movie. Trust me though, there is still plenty to love about "Fargo" besides one great performance. The whole cast shines in this movie, (pay close attention to William H. Macy) and the film is both intense drama and oddball funny.
1. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Was there really any doubt, really? That's all I can really say!
If you haven't had a chance to see these movies, I would strongly suggest that you do so.