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Entries in Coen Bros (40)

Thursday
Mar282019

Great Scots!

by Jason Adams

It is always good news when the Coen Bros announce a new thing, even if the new thing turns out to be kinda hit-n-miss like I found their last new thing (that'd be The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which I reviewed out of NYFF last fall right here) to be. The hits are worth the misses. ("Pan shot!") But today's good news is more than good -- it's downright invigorating.

The Bros are taking on the Bard -- they're making their Macbeth, and it's going to star Denzel Washington (who previously played Don Pedro in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing, pictured) and Frances McDormand (who is Frances f'ing McDormand) as the Lord and his Lady. O, Vaulting Ambition!

And you're a better person than I if you're not already casting this thing in your head with a bunch of Coen regulars -- as soon as I landed on Tilda Swinton playing all three of the witches I might've passed right out. Who are you play-casting?

Thursday
Jan312019

Blueprints: Memorable scenes from your "Best Adapted Screenplay" nominees

by Jorge Molina

Last week we dove into the nominees for Original Screenplay. Unlike that category, which feels up in the air with a batch of uneven contenders, the adapted nominees reflect a much richer group of screenplays overall. From the pitch-perfect blending of genres and race-commentary in BlackKklansman, to the lyricism and poetry of If Beale Street Could Talk, and from the snark and melancholy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, to the dark ironies that permeate through all the tales in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, andthe interpersonal relationships against the backdrop of superstardom in A Star Is Born, each nominee says what it needs to say in a way only it could have. Let’s have a look at each of the nominees...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan252019

Podcast: On the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards

with Nathaniel R, Nick Davis, and Murtada Elfadl 

Hopefully you're not sick of talking Oscar nods, yet, since here's the last bit of the post-nomination blitz coverage... though obviously Oscar discussions will continue through Oscar night but we can diversify our attention after this one. 

Index (63 minutes)
00:01 Marina de Tavira for Roma (!) and women's stories at the Oscars
05:00 Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman & Coen brothers Buster Scruggs
12:00 Netflix and working hard for your nominations; it pays off
17:00 The joy of reaction videos: Richard E Grant and more
20:30 Best Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel for Never Look Away
23:30 Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, or Rami Malek?
29:45 No more Potterverse nominations but that Elizabeth vs Mary franchise never goes away. And the same people are rewarded for it again!
32:35 Nominations we don't quite understand but aren't opposed to.
40:00 A24 Oscar fate: First Reformed and Eighth Grade
43:15 Discussions of these career moments and potential futures for the 20 acting nominees. 
57:00 Saying nice things about Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody
60:00 Random happy thoughts to wrap-up

Referenced in the Pod
Bobby Pontillas (animated short) reaction video
Richard E Grant (supporting actor) reaction video
Oscar Charts
• And this Blanchett-obsessed acceptance speech from Jenny Shircore...

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Deep dive into the nominations

Sunday
Oct072018

NYFF: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Jason Adams reporting from the New York Film Festival

Anthology films always have a bit of an under-cooked quality - you like a chunk of meat here, a chunk of potato there, but the stew's uneven, the broth skinned over from sitting. Even the very best ones can feel haphazard - you can and should certainly argue that Pulp Fiction is an anthology film, albeit one that's po-mo'd up in glorious fashion, but some days you're just not in the mood for Honey Bunny, ya dig?  The Coens' six-part The Ballad of Buster Scruggs maintains that streak - highs, lows, and everything in between, slapped between two fraying book covers...

Click to read more ...

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...

Click to read more ...

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."