Monday, 4 April 2011


The Film.

On the cover of my DVD are the following quotes-
"Brilliantly funny," -Empire Magazine.
"The Coens' finest film ever," Jason Solomon, The Observer.
"The Kings of Comedy," The Sun.
***** News of the World.

None of these would I use to describe this film. It isn't a bad film by any standards. It's probably a very fond and accurate portrayal of a mid-western suburban Jewish community in 1967, lovingly remembered from the Coens own childhoods. It's also a tragic comedy of a middle aged respectable man whose life is falling apart around him through no fault of his own. The Coens deny it's based on the story of Job but it's hard not to see the resemblances.

Unfortunately it just didn't touch me. I think not being Jewish has something to do with it and I imagine people (particularly Americans) who are Jewish will love it. It's certainly full of Jewish humour which can be a little difficult for non-Jews to appreciate. I suspect this is a film that the Coens made for themselves and has a limited audience. That it made less than a quarter of the gross of Burn After Reading suggests this to be the case.

I may be wrong but it looks as if the cast is almost completely comprised of Jewish actors (which is perfectly understandable as they would inevitably be more in tune with the Coens story) and none of their regular company is involved. Indeed the only actor I recognised was Richard Kind because of his distinctive face.

Random Notes.

And that finished the first box set of the Coens' films. Coming up next, and in chronological order, are Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, and Fargo.

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