O Brother, where art thou?


        Oh brother, what a movie!  As my first movie review, I’ve chosen an easy one -- one of my favorites -- and a Coen brothers’ masterpiece:  “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”  It is a flavorful tale that loosely (very loosely) follows Homer’s “The Odyssey.”   Staring a talented cast -- George Clooney as Everett, John Turturro as Pete, and Tim Black Nelson as Delmar -- the story is set in the depression years of the Deep South.  They meet a prophet, spellbinding sirens, and a one-eyed Cyclops; each teach lessons in their own way.  

            Everett, Pete, and Delmar escape from a chain gang in order to retrieve the buried treasure from an armored car heist.  They have to move quickly because the buried treasure is about to be covered by the new lake created by the national works project.  Colorful and memorable characters fill their travels and paint this comedy with brushes of politics, religion, poverty, and racism.  The characters are at once both light-hearted and insightful.

            The muted colors of their lifeless environment accentuate their desperate condition as they run from the ever-pursuing law to get to their salvation (also known as the treasure).  The unique cinematography provides a unique colorization of the environment that excludes any version of the color green.  The resulting landscapes are always winter-like, even with the leaves on the trees. 

            Filled with old country songs that were often a blur between praise for God and a plea for help, the music is comfortable like an old cotton shirt.  Fine bluegrass, blues, and vocals are blended to enrich the total movie experience.

            The Coen Brothers (Ethan and Joel) wrote this remarkable tale with belly-laugh comedy woven throughout.  Known for their other outstanding works like the Academy Award winning Fargo and Lady Killers, the Coen Brothers are creators of feelings... situations that draw the viewer in and, like all real art, speaks a unique truth to the heart.

            Released in 2000 and nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography), this movie was recognized as “The best film of the year!” by Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune.  Rated PG for some violence and language, it is suitable for the whole family. - Pork Chop


  Directed By: Joel Coen

Rating 95%

  Rated P-13 (Violence and Language)