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"While it doesn't seem groundbreaking, I know I will watch it eventually because of the four legends in the cast." - Rebecca

"Adored both Bergen and Keaton (and Garcia!), liked Fonda and unfortunately, thought Steenburgen kind of drew the short straw here. Overall, had a ball!" - Andrew


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Entries in Coen Bros (36)

Wednesday
May162018

Soundtracking: "Inside Llewyn Davis"

by Chris Feil

"I don’t see a lot of money here."

With that cold, unfeeling line, F. Murray Abraham’s notorious club owner dismisses Oscar Isaac’s Llewyn Davis after a crucial impromptu audition. In so few words, he communicates that both Llewyn’s hard times and the commodification of his art form are here to stay.

After a taxing hitchhike from New York City on the promise of this gamechanger opportunity, the forever beleaguered Llewyn finagles his way into this audition and performs “The Death of Queen Jane”. The bitterness of Inside Llewyn Davis calms for Isaac’s crystalline vocals...

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Monday
Dec042017

Beauty vs Beast: Grit's the Word

Jason from MNPP here wishing the actor Jeff Bridges a happy 68th birthday today with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" poll. What's your favorite performance from Bridges? Mine is far and away his performance in Peter Weir's wildly underrated 1993 plane-crash survivor drama Fearless, but that movie doesn't lend itself well to this series. So instead we'll go with something more recent, namely his turn as "Rooster Cogburn" in the Coens' 2010 update of True Grit. Don't you wish he'd won his Oscar for this rather than Crazy Heart? And we'll pit him against his fine co-star and co-nominee Hailee Steinfeld. Good luck with this one!

PREVIOUSLY Last week twas everybody's current favorite momma drama Lady Bird's turn in the hot seat, and daughter came out victorious - Saorsie Ronan went all Baller / Anarchist and took 55% of your vote. Said chasm301, giving me a good chuckle:

"Lady Bird is basically the most instantly iconic teen movie character since Cher in Clueless. (Ok maybe Regina George or Tracy Flick). She gave this victory to herself. It was given to her by her and me too."

Friday
Jul282017

A First Look At "Suburbicon"

Chris here. With fall festival lineups beginning to be revealed, that means some of the upcoming films that have been shrouded in secrecy are beginning to lift the veil. One such film that we've seen next to nothing from is George Clooney's Suburbicon, which will be among the Venice and Toronto lineups.

Thus far we've only had the starry cast (Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac) and a script by Clooney, his writing partner Grant Heslov, and the Coen brothers to stoke our curiosity - with a brief plot synopsis about home invasion to have us scratching our heads as to what the actual tone of this thing would be. Now there is a trailer that... leaves us with more questions about the tone.

Take a look at the trailer and I have some burning questions after the jump...

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Monday
Sep262016

Beauty vs Beast: What is the Word?

Jason from MNPP here, on the verge of admitting something that might get me lynched a la Frankenstein's Monster round these parts -- I have never seen Grease. Yes, that Grease. The movie Grease. I think I'd get less incredulous looks from my fellow movie buffs (especially of the homosexual sort) if I were talking about grease-the-liquid when I say that, but I speak of the 1978 movie starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.

Oh I have seen bits and pieces, it's really quite unavoidable (I would know, I have tried!), but a full-on straight-through sit-down til Sandy & Danny ride off on their hot-rod chariot into the sky? Nope. Five minutes of it gives me the hives and the heebie-jeebies, folks. Send your hate mail to, well, I guess to the comments of this post. Anyway it's Olivia Newton-John's 68th birthday today and we know our host Nathaniel's a big fan (and hey, I love that "Physical" video) so here's your Grease-themed "Beauty vs Beast." Also you could all probably come up with better Pros & Cons for each character than I could so feel free to share those in the comments... alongside your vitriol, of course...

PREVIOUSLY I have to say I am really proud of you guys for our last edition - in our face-off between Tommy Lee Jones and Best Supporting Actor winner Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men, you bucked the Oscar trend and gave your prize to Tommy Lee with 55% of the vote. He gets my vote too. Said Nick T:

"Every single time I've watched this I've loved Tommy Lee Jones more and more. Ed Bell and Marge Gunderson would have the loveliest conversation."

Thursday
Aug182016

John Turturro Set To F--- With The Jesus

In the 7-10 split of having your cake and eating it too, John Turturro is trying for a spare. Which is to say, after nearly two decades of zealous celebration over his scene-stealing (and very small) performance in The Big Lebowski as the crotch-swaddling bowling-ball licker Jesus Quintana, he's doubling down on that legacy and directing a feature film that stars Jesus at the wheel. After a few years of Turturro's titters, he's finally making his own spinoff movie, Going Places, and he's already in production.

Currently starring in HBO's The Night Of, a very different kind of crime story, Turturro reprises his role as Jesus Quintana alongside a cast including Bobby Cannavale, Susan Sarandon, and Audrey Tautou. Notably absent from this project are the original creators of the role themselves, the Coen Brothers, but perhaps they'll attach their names as producers as they have for their last grand-brainchild, FX's Fargo.

If you could give any iconic supporting character their own standalone movie, who would you choose?

Wednesday
Aug032016

Frances McDormand: from Blood Simple (1984) to Olive Kitteridge (2014)

1984 is our year of the month for August. Here's Matthew Eng to talk about a treasured actor that made her on camera debut back then...

For the better half of her nearly four-decade film career, Meryl Streep has managed to compel generations of moviegoers to accept a self-styled character actress as not only an acting heroine for the ages but also a bona fide movie star with mass-market appeal and unimpeachable box office credentials. Like no other actress since Bette Davis, Streep has perfected a once-unfeasible practice of playing the sort of idiosyncratic women she has always drifted towards, but within the safe confines of midrange, studio-supported moviemaking that seems to satisfy audience expectations as well as her own.

Sometimes Streep’s projects—and, it must be said, Streep herself—can disappoint. For every quietly graceful gem (like her underrated Hope Springs performance) or skillfully uninhibited turn (as in the best passages of It’s Complicated), there are another two or three within Streep’s latter-day canon that could stand some sharper finesse or at least more dexterous directorial guidance. Whenever I’m let down to by Streep, I can’t help but wonder what one of her less-viable peers might do with the opportunities that are scarce for any actress born before the Kennedy administration and which Streep barely has to put up a fight for.

The Beginning: Blood Simple (1984); The Most Recent Triumph: Olive Kitteridge (2014)

For as long as I can remember, Frances McDormand has served as the purest and most intimidating embodiment of what a character actor should be. “That woman has no vanity,” my mom remarked with clear admiration after watching her in Lisa Cholodenko’s Olive Kitteridge, where McDormand delivers one of the decade’s most masterful star turns, a perfectly prickly meeting of actor and role that might have been a surefire Oscar winner had the project aimed for a bigger screen...

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