SUNDAY DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT
This post is dedicated to highlighting certain directors's films that maybe don't get as much love as they should. Today I am going to highlight 3 Coen Brothers films that probably don't get the love and respect they deserve.
2004's The LadyKillers is a remake of the 1955 film with the same name. Usually this film is not mentioned as a favorite Coen Brothers movie but it is definitely one of mine. Tom Hanks plays Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr, a southern gentleman who rents a apartment in Mrs. Munson's house so he and his band can rehearse in the root cellar below. You soon find out though that he has alter motives for the root cellar as he is planning a bank robbery under Mrs. Munson's nose. However, does everything go smoothly for them? I won't say for those who have watched but it don't go easy.
I love Tom's performance in this as he has so much fun playing such a smarmy, slick con man who only ability is to weave one lie after the next. Also the supporting cast is very nice from Irma P. Hall as Mrs. Munson who can see through most of Dorr's lies to J.K. Simmons as Garth Pancake, a demolitions expert who's IBS strikes at the worst possible moments. This is probably the second funniest Coen Brothers film next to "O Brother Where Art Thou" and I really would think you will enjoy and laugh with this film as it goes from bank heist film to slapstick film in a heartbeat.
This is a film I only just saw a couple years ago and I kicked myself for not seeing before that. Raising Arizona is the story of a ex-criminal Herbert "Hi" (Nicolas Cage) and a police officer Edwina "Ed" (Holly Hunter) who get married but find out that they can not have or adopt kids. So they come with a idea to kidnap one of five babies of a famous Arizona resident. Complications arise in the form of : family trying to get Hi back into the criminal racket, a boss who wants to wife-swap and a bounty hunter hot on their trail.
This is one of Nicolas's best performances as the wackness he shows now in movies iis much under control here in a very downbeat way as he shows Hi as a man wanting to do good by his family and his new son. This film is one of the more upbeat Coen Brothers films as it is a fun and interesting look at life in the west. It is a prelude to their later films such as "O Brother", "Big Lebowski" and "Burn After Reading" in the style of the movie and the eccentric characters that inhabit the world the Coens weave their stories in.
Miller's Crossing is one of those films that the first time you view it , you might not notice everything. The Coens here mix the 30's gangster films with the noir films of the 1940's to excellent effect here. If you are a fan of movies and the technical side of them then I would highly suggest this film. It is one that you will enjoy upon multiple viewings.
The main story is about boss Leo (Albert Finney) and his #1 guy so to speak Tom (Gabriel Byrne). Leo is in a war with Johnny Caspar and is forced to offer protection to his lover's brother Bernie as a result of it (John Turturro in a great performance). Tom doesn't agree with Leo's decision and goes to work for his rival Caspar. Caspar's first order is to have Tom kill Bernie in the woods at Miller's Crossing. Will he do it or will he set a chain of events in motion by letting him go?
Like many of the Joel and Ethan Coen's films, this one is even better upon rewatches. You will catch so many different things. So Look In Your Heart and ask yourself "Why wouldn't you want to watch Miller's Crossing?"
So these are just three of the Coen Brothers films that I would recommend to people. Actually these were all recommended to me at one point too! So someone out there is someone who hasn't seen one or two or all of these films. If you are a fan of these films then go out and tell them about these films. Maybe once they see these , they will watch other Coen films or perhaps other films with say Holly Hunter or Gabriel Byrne in them. Pay It Forward when it comes to love of movies. (Though I wouldn't recommend that one. hahahaha!)