O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Only Joel and Ethan Coen, the fraternal director and producer team behind art-house hits such as The Big Lebowski and Fargo and masters of quirky and ultra-stylish genre subversion, would dare nick the plot line of Homer's Odyssey for a comic picaresque saga about three cons on the run in 1930s Mississippi. Our wandering hero in this case is one Ulysses Everett McGill, a slick-tongued wise guy with a thing about hair pomade (George Clooney, blithely sending up his own dapper image) who talks his chain-gang buddies (Coen-movie regular John Turturro and newcomer Tim Blake Nelson) into lighting out after some buried loot he claims to know of. En route they come up against a prophetic blind man on a railroad truck, a burly, one-eyed baddie (the ever-magnificent John Goodman), a trio of sexy singing ladies, a blues guitarist who's sold his soul to the devil, a brace of crooked politicos on the stump, a manic-depressive bank robber, and--well, you get the idea. Into this, their most relaxed film yet, the Coens have tossed a beguiling ragbag of inconsequential situations, a wealth of looping, left-field dialogue, and a whole stash of gags both verbal and visual. O Brother (the title's lifted from Preston Sturges's classic 1941 comedy Sullivan's Travels) is furthermore graced with glowing, burnished photography from Roger Deakins and a masterly soundtrack from T-Bone Burnett that pays loving homage to American '30s folk styles--blues, gospel, bluegrass, jazz, and more. And just to prove that the brothers haven't lost their knack for bad-taste humor, we get a Ku Klux Klan rally choreographed like a cross between a Nuremberg rally and a Busby Berkeley musical.
Certainly one of the funniest movies ever made, but it also has an often overlooked, but tightly wound and very enjoyable plot. The dude just wants his rug back. Hilarity ensues.
The cult classic The Big Lebowski! If you've never seen Lebowski you might be Lebowski! If you like bowling you might meet a Lebowski! If you have a phone book, don't be named Lebowski. It's simple, dude... this is a story about a... The cult classic The Big Lebowski! If you've never seen Lebowski you might be Lebowski! If you like bowling you might meet a Lebowski! If you have a phone book, don't be named Lebowski. It's simple, dude... this is a story about a guy about a guy. The dude.