[Movie Review] O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou?Starring: George Clooney, John Turturro, John Goodman, Tim Blake Nelson, Charles Durning, Holly Hunter
Director: Joel Coen
Genre: Comedy
Cert: 15
Released: 2000

Sentenced to hard labour for a daring armoured car robbery, Ulysses Everett McGill (Clooney), convinces fellow convicts Pete (Turturro) and Delmar (Nelson) to escape with him and find the loot that he hid after the robbery. Their progress to the treasure is slowed by a number of quirky characters in front of them, while behind them are a ferocious group of Mississippi lawmen whose sniffer dogs are able to follow the trail of Everett?s empty hair wax tins.

Desptie numerous setbacks, they make it to Everett?s town, and he gets a surprise when he finds that his wife (Hunter) has told his seven kids that he was killed by a train, and she is set to re-marry the next day. Everett needs to move fast to win his wife back, but can he rely on Pete and Delmar after they discover his ulterior motives for breaking out of jail?

Some people shrug their shoulders when they watch a Coens movie and wonder what all the fuss is about. But the brothers have the ability to do the little things well, and it is these little things which add up to deliver so many enjoyable filems. Take the inspired casting of Clooney. His delightfully accomplished delivery of hilarious lines (?you two are just dumber than a bag of hammers?, or when asked why he is in charge he replies ?I figured it should be the one with the capacity for abstract thought. But if that ain’t the consensus view, then hell, let’s put it to a vote?) means he is often the scene-stealer.

The simple-man acts of Turturro and Nelson might have normally been grating, but both come up trumps with quality turns. But as usual the whole cast shines. Michael Badalucco is starting to make a name for himself thanks to the Coens, and his outrageous over-stated bank robber character is memorable. Charles Durning is briliant as hateful political hopeful, Pappy O?Daniel, and it?s no surprise to see John Goodman sparkle in his brief turn as a bible salesman.

The pace is frenetic from start to finish, and any time there is a slow down to accommodate any reflective moments, it does so in the fun spirit of the movie. Sometimes you feel like you are watching a 2001 version of the Three Stooges, and that’s as high praise as I think you can get! Inventive as ever, casted perfectly, written and directed with style. The Coens really know how to entertain and get the best out of something that is wonderful anyway.


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