O Brother, Where Art Thou? takes part in my unofficial ‘the Coen brothers rule the world’- blogathon. For me O Brother is their crownjewel, and here’s why :
1. The Soggy Bottom Boys
Bluegrass, gospel, folk, country, blues baby! T Bone Burnett is probably the biggest producing talent in country and film. The songs in O Brother would make a cowboy laugh their tits off (so to speak .. ). The OST has been ranked as one of the best country albums of all time by several distinguished authorities in country music and The Soggy Bottom Boys rock those tunes like there is no tomorrow.
If this isn’t Clooney’s best role to date, I don’t know what is; he knew what he was doing when he signed on without reading the script. The epitome of a movie star in a role that shook his career in the best way possible. That southern twang and greasy hair … yeah, Gorgeous George did it again.
3. The Odyssey
How do you write a modern, enticing adaptation based on an epic poem by Homer? Give it to the Coen brothers. A model example of maticulous writing, scripting and humour, I dare you to find scripts more lively and vivacious than this. In the film we follow Everett Ulysses McGill on his adventure, and meet mythological creatures in the form of 1930’s women, men, convicts, KKK, bank robberr. At points we get literal with sirens and a cyclops.
Delmar O’Donnell : I’m gonna visit those foreclosing son-of-a-guns at the Indianola Savings & Loan, slap that money on the barrelhead and buy back the family farm. You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land.
Delmar O’Donnell : They… left… his… heart!
Delmar O’Donnell : Hey mister! I don’t mean to be tellin’ tales out of school, but there’s a feller in there that’ll pay you ten dollars if you sing into his can.