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      O Brother, Where Art Thou? Reviews

      Oct 27, 2023

      Masterpiece. Beautiful in every possible aspects.

      Sep 24, 2023

      Fun to watch when in need of a chuckle.

      Sep 2, 2023

      The Coen Brothers have not yet made a musical, although I believe the idea has been discussed. This is surprising in a way, because there is something naturally musical about the pace and style of a Coen movie. The films are artificial and lay great emphasis on spectacle. The dialogue has rhythm and cadence, and certain phrases are repeated like leitmotifs. The nearest that the Coens have come to making a musical so far is O Brother, Where Art Thou. Music and singing feature in a large number of scenes in the film, and the characters themselves sing a few of the songs. The tunes are not original numbers written for the film, but a collection of folk and religious songs from the period in which the story is set (the action takes place in 1937). Music is so important to the film that the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou was actually more successful than the film, selling 5 million copies and winning a Grammy Award. Within the film too, music plays a significant part in the fates of the characters. Our heroes uses music to make a little money by going into a local recording studio and performing a cover version of Man of Constant Sorrow, and this tune may ultimately prove to be their salvation. Their friend Tommy Johnson (Chris Thomas King) values music so much that he apparently sold his soul to the devil to improve his guitar skills. Music is exploited for cynical ends too. The two political rivals, Menelaus ‘Pappy' O'Daniel (Charles Durning) and Homer Stokes (Wayne Duvall) use music to support their political campaigns, and a moment of inspired opportunism finally gives Pappy the shot in the arm that his flagging campaign needs when he publicly backs the Soggy Bottom Boys. By contrast, Homer's attack on the musicians backfires badly. People are often swayed by music. The sound of Baptists singing ‘Down to the River to Pray' is enough to persuade two of the escaped convicts, Pete Hogwallop (John Turturro) and Delmar O'Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson) to eagerly get themselves baptised. Later a trio of sirens lure the convicts onto the rocks with a rendition of ‘Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby', and hand one of them over to the law in order to get the reward money. Music is only one of the influences on O Brother, Where Art Thou. As is widely known, the shape of the story is loosely shaped by Homer's poem, The Odyssey. This is despite the fact that the Coens confessed to not having read Homer's original work. Coen films often show sympathy for criminals and outcasts. We are encouraged to root for the escaped convicts. The movie's three heroes and the crowds watching the Soggy Bottom Boys concert are sympathetic to black people such as Tommy – if only Mississippi really did have such a reputation for tolerance! Authority figures are the real villains. Politicians are corrupt and weak. The law is a relentless and unforgiving body. Sheriff Cooley (Daniel von Bargen) pursues the convicts without cease. His dark sunglasses reflect fire in them, giving him a sinister look. He tortures Pete, and nearly kills the convicts. When he catches up with them, he intends to have them hanged. When they protest that is against the law. Cooley answers: "The law is a human institution". It might be argued that the main theme of the film is the clash between the irrational superstitions and ignorance of the Old South and the coming world of rationalism and modernity that never quite replaces it. As we are told more than once in the film, people are looking for answers, and they seek them in both scientific and superstitious ways of thinking. Everett is insistent that the old habits of the past will die away with progress, but the sight of a cow on a roof suggests that perhaps the old backwards mumbo-jumbo of the South may not be about to change as much as Everett imagines after all. Given that these unreasonable beliefs have contributed so much wonderful material to the creation of this movie, I can't help suspecting that the Coens are secretly glad about that. I wrote a longer appreciation of O Brother, Where Art Thou on my blog page if you would like to read more:

      Aug 17, 2023

      One of the best movies of all time. It gets better every time you watch it, highly quotable, hilarious, quirky, and fun. Makes me happy just thinking about this movie!

      Jul 24, 2023

      Good movie bla bla bla.

      Jul 8, 2023

      Never before has Greek mythology been retouched in a modern and at the same time funny way, with its exotic characters. The plot has the humor that has always characterized the Coen brothers. To see George Clooney taking his first steps to maturity.

      Jul 5, 2023

      Love the Cohen brothers, didn't like this one. It just got monotonous after the halfway point and I totally lost interest.

      Jun 8, 2023

      After escaping prison, Ulysses, Delmar and Pete embark on a journey to find a hidden treasure. As lawmen pursue them, a new companion and a brush with antisocial elements turn their lives around. This wasn't really my cup of tea, but for some reason I still had a really great time. George Clooney and the rest of the cast are fantastic and super hilarious, especially in that one scene when he says: "Damn, we are in a tight spot.", for so many times. The cinematography by Roger Deakins is pretty great, definitely not his best work, but it fits the tone of the movie really well. The movie reminded me more of the Big Lebowski, then for example a True Grit, and I didn't love the Big Lebowski for same reasons as this movie. The screenplay is definitely really good and it's a fascinating journey, but the tone didn't really work for me personally, but I can see other people love this kind of style from the Coen brothers. The score is surprisingly beautiful and some of the framing gorgeous, so overall I would still recommend it to everybody, but it will not be for everybody!

      Jun 4, 2023

      I can't imagine a more perfect movie.

      May 18, 2023

      One of my favourite films. Great acting (even by George Clooney) and a superb old timey soundtrack. I love it.

      Apr 4, 2023

      Outstanding off beat comedy.

      Mar 19, 2023

      It has great first half but absolutely plummets with its terrible second half

      Feb 27, 2023

      Absurd, hilarious, and great music!

      Feb 25, 2023

      F**king sh*t I hate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Feb 9, 2023

      This film is destined to become a classic. Outstanding.

      Feb 2, 2023

      Rating: 7/10. 70/100

      Feb 1, 2023

      Good but bad more action figures needed

      Jan 11, 2023

      The movie took weird directions with the characters and plot and felt like it was desperately clinging to being an adaptation of the Odyssey. You never get a grasp on what world the characters live in.

      Jan 9, 2023

      It's 2023 and my husband convinced me to watch this movie because he found out I had never seen it. I like the music, but the movie itself was dumb. I'm actually very surprised that it won the awards that it did.

      Jan 6, 2023

      Weird convicts that escape. With no money they try to find treasure. Has some weird comedy as well. Good cast though.

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