- This is far from the Coen’s best work but it’s a tribute to their depth of filmography just how good this “B-side” film is
- Certainly is fully a coen brothers film- but also pays tribute to noirs, old Hollywood, james m. cain pulp novels—with the story narrative, voice over, black and white photography
- Deakins work with that b/w photography is stunning- it’s the coens only film in black and white
- The cast is stunning with a real depth of talent. Actors as good as Scarlett, Richard Jenkins, and others fill out the ensemble but Billy Bob Thorton in the title role is really the driving force for the film and he’s excellent here. Billy Bob has 9 archiveable films from 1996 to 2003. It’s also a bold and brilliant choice for the coens to center their film on such an empty and vacant lead character- a sad character striving for redemption. Ed Crain the perfect name for him- he’s like a metronome.
- Ransom note/plotline from big Lebowski, dry cleaning idea is much like the hula-hoop in hudsucker proxy
- The shadows in the prison scene is really outstanding- it would be repeated with the UFO lights at the finale of the film
- Meditation on fate which was started with blood simple but clearly is a major part of fargo, no country for old men and the devastating finale scene of a young Bob Dylan in Inside Llewyn Davis
- Recommend but near top 10 of the year quality- fringe R/HR– strong film
Watched this for the 2nd time, the 1st was at least 10 maybe even closer to 15 years ago and wasn’t really sure what to make of it the 1st time. As noted above the black and white photography is very impressive.
This is one of Billy Bob’s more restrained performances, he plays melancholy to perfection
Not sure if it’s just a coincidence but there is a character named Diedrickson, the same last name of the Barbara Stanwyck character in Double Indeminity although the spelling is slighyly different, Dietrichson
This film got me thinking, which current auteur (who have not made one) would you like to see make a film noir?
@James – I watched this for the first time about a week ago and have it as a MS film for now, what grade would you have for it?
As for your question, maybe PTA trying to improve on Inherent Vice and making a full on noir, or even Fincher or Wes Anderson.
@James Trapp- All would be fun to see– put me down for Aster or Coogler if forced to pick.
@Harry – funny coincidence, HR/MS for me, the b&w photography, Billy Bob performance (he also has a great narration voice btw) and the usual Coen Brother musings on fate are the biggest reasons to watch for me.
Also, it makes me excited to revisit some of their other films that I’ve only seen once like Millers Crossing and A Serious Man.
@Drake – Nice I would go Ari Aster and Chazelle (on the condition that JK Simmons has a significant role)
What are the best Billy Bob Thornton performances (aside of Fargo)?
@RujK- a dozen archiveable films with Billy Bob in them– I’d have to sit down and choose from Sling Blade, A Simple Plan, The Man Who Wasn’t There and Bad Santa– that feels like his top four.
1992- One False Move
1995- Dead Man
1996- Sling Blade
1997- The Apostle
1998- A Simple Plan
1998- Primary Colors
2001- Monster’s Ball
2001- The Man Who Wasn’t There
2003- Bad Santa
2003- Intolerable Cruelty
I love Bad Santa; watch it almost every Chrismas or at the very least every other year.
Monster’s Ball is an interesting one (it of course features a famous sex scene with Halle Berry)
I also like him in Friday Night Lights (2004) and Bad News Bears (2005)
Ultimately Bad Santa is my favorite performance, it’s dark comedy at its finest, the Coen Brother’s are
the films Executive producers but not the directors. Yet it feels a bit like a Coen Brother’s film in some ways.