September 12, 2008

'Burn,' and Ranking the Coens

Saw "Burn After Reading" last night, and while it wasn't great or transcendent by any means, I laughed a lot and very much enjoyed it overall. The scenes with J.K. Simmons were my favorite part- aside from a certain machine in Clooney's basement- and I'm finally at the point where Simmons has been in enough movies that I can see him without having flashbacks to him raping Beecher on "Oz." Clooney's usually awful at broad comedy- see "Leatherheads," or better yet don't- but his performance here is so over the top that I actually loved it.

My ranking of the 13 Coen Brothers movies:
1. "Fargo"
2. "The Big Lebowski"
3. "No Country For Old Men"
4. "Raising Arizona"
5. "O Brother Where Art Thou"
6. "Blood Simple"
7. "Miller's Crossing"
8. "Burn After Reading"
9. "The Hudsucker Proxy"
10. "The Man Who Wasn't There"
11. "Barton Fink"
12. "The Ladykillers"
13. "Intolerable Cruelty"

Notes: There's very little distance between, say, #6 and #11. And even #11 is better than #1 in most directors' filmographies.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 12, 2008 04:07 PM

I see J.K. in person all the the time. He lives in the valley...

Posted by: A at September 14, 2008 01:27 PM

Holy Crap....that's an interesting one.

I'm going to do 12, since it'll be this week sometime before I see "Burn..."

1. Big Lebowski
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Raising Arizona
4. Fargo
5. Miller's Crossing
6. O Brother Where Art Thou?
7. Blood Simple
8. The Ladykillers
9. The Hudsucker Proxy
10. Barton Fink
11. The Man Who Wasn't There
12. Intolerable Cruelty

I'm the same way...there's not a lot of space between 3 and 7. In fact, I'd say all of the top 7 are in my personal top 50 (or so).

And I've got a strange, soft spot in my heart for Ladykillers, if only because I want Tom Hanks to do comedy a little more...out of all his talents, he's maybe his generation's finest physical comedian....but I grant you, it's an odd mess...

Posted by: Tommy at September 14, 2008 11:00 PM
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