Sunday, December 3, 2017

1043. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Directed by Joel Coen

Finally, a Coen Brothers film that I am on the fence about. Usually I either love it (who couldn't love Fargo?) or hate it (The Big Lebowski...White Russians are disgusting by the way). I'm still not sure about this one, but at the very least it was interesting.

Three convicts, Ulysses, Pete, and Delmar, escape from a chain gang. Ulysses claims he hid stolen loot in the area before it was flooded. They set out to find the treasure, meeting many colorful characters along the way, including a one-eyed bible salesman, a young black man who claims he sold his soul to the devil, and Baby Face Nelson.

When this movie began, I was convinced George Clooney was miscast. That man belongs in a suit, dammit! But as the film progressed, I became more and more charmed by the characters. Certain moments of the movie were more effective than others; I loved the Siren scene and the Klan meeting was genuinely frightening. Other scenes like the one with Pete's cousin felt unnecessary.

I guess my main problem with this is that it didn't feel cohesive. It was hard to know where we were in the story but I suppose the Odyssey was episodic. Sidenote: am I the only one who inwardly groans when John Goodman shows up in a movie?

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The Coen Brothers admitted they never read the Odyssey. Well, that figures.

George Clooney's singing voice was dubbed by Dan Tyminski. I knew it was too good to be true.


  1. I agree. It is all over the place, more intent on adapting to the Odessey themes than presenting a coherent story. Still, the references are pretty cool. I love that this is the story Sullivan intended to make in Sullivan's Travel from 1941.

  2. I really liked this movie. Maybe it was the silliness and strangeness that appealed to me. George Clooney was a delightful surprise. I haven't seen it in awhile and no I may have to watch it again! (And yes...John Goodman...sigh)

  3. I liked it, but it's a ride through actual characters and legends of the era which surely would be been more enjoyable if I knew enough to recognise who they were and represented.

  4. Agreed that the references are cool. It made me want to watch Sullivan's Travels again.