28/30 O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

A Film You Watch to Feel Good

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.


2. George Clooney

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.

4. Delmar

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.

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9 responses to “28/30 O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

  1. Great Choice!

    This is my favourite Coen Brothers film by a mile (although True Grit came close for me!). I love the Southern classical vibe to the film, the music is superb (I love country music in general) and the characters are played to perfection. I could watch this film over and over again.

    • I think I need to see True Grit again, but for me it didn’t really reach the Coen brother top 5 ! O Brother is so much fun, isn’t it! And as you say, it’s one of those films that have so much going on (in a good way) that you can watch it a hundred times and not get sick of it.

  2. This is one of my favourite Coens’ films too. Remains watchable on endless viewings, and always makes me feel good. “I don’t want FOP goddammit, I’m a Dapper Dan Man.” I dig the new look too!

  3. Pretty hard not to laugh/enjoy/smile at dialogue like this:

    Ulysses Everett McGill: No thank you, Delmar. One third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without bedding it down.
    Delmar O’Donnell: Oh, you can have the whole thing. Me and Pete already had one apiece. We ran across a whole… gopher village.

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