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Posts Tagged ‘Coen Brothers’

“F**king F**k.”

In pure Coen brother movie tradition, “Burn After Reading,” starring George Clooney, Francis McDormand, John Malkovich, and Brad Pitt, among others, lives up to all expectations.

The dark comedy centers around a twisted love quadrangle in which even the viewing audience can get lost in quickly if they don’t pay close attention.

When the fitness center’s locker room attendant finds a mysterious CD with data on it, Brad Pitt’s character Chad, an over-enthusiastic personal trainer, convinces his co-worker Linda (McDormand) that it’s CIA shit and can be leveraged for profit. Meanwhile, the newly fired and foul-mouthed CIA agent Osborne Cox (Malkovich) is oblivious to the fact that his wife Katie (Tilda Swinton) is sleeping with Harry (Clooney) behind his back as he writes his memoirs. And Clooney, a U.S. treasury officer, is sleeping with everyone, clueless that his own wife is preparing to file for divorce.

It’s an “idiots reign supreme” plot in which, in the end, Mcdormand gets her one and only wish granted by none other than the CIA agency itself.

I’ve heard many people say they didn’t laugh out loud while watching the movie, but I did and so did the majority of the theater goers…especially during a particular scene in Harry’s basement, where he’s built a very special chair and unveils it to everyone’s amusement.

I recommend “Burn After Reading.” The Coen’s have, again, written and directed a movie designed to amuse and confuse.

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Did you notice how few words the Coen brothers had for the masses on the Oscars Sunday night?

Their movie, “No Country for Old Men,” (NCFOM) won four major awards including two directly attributable to the St. Paul St. Louis Park, Minn., writing duo who also won an Academy Award for their original work, “Fargo,” but they barely could get out a thank you to the millions watching the tome-length, dinosaur-ish awards show.

I’m a fan of Coen movies from the get go. “Raising Arizona,” “Fargo,” “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and NCFOM all could easily make my top 100 list of all-time favorite flicks. The brothers got game when it comes to adaptations of Cormac McCarthy’s novels or writing their own schtuff.

And apparently they still have a little Minnesota Modesty within them from their hometown roots, which keep them slightly bashful and soft spoken on the stage and in the lights of their peers (imagine giving an acceptance speech with Jack friggin’ Nicholson sitting 10 feet away from you). So saying a simple, “Thank You,” seems to fit quite well…even given their mighty success.

As for the Oscar production itself, the show’s host, John Stewart, did his best to keep it light but the pure length and boring productions make it impossible to really enjoy. And the songs nominated this year all blew chunks. The only real surprise of the night was Tilda Swinton’s best supporting actress award for her character in one of my favorite movies of the year, “Michael Clayton.” Swinton was humorous and charming accepting the award – which clearly surprised her as well.

Now I’m off to my first screen-writing class. Since the Coen’s have their mantel full of Oscar, I’ll let that Midwestern modesty work its magic on me.

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