Saturday, September 13, 2008
Burn After Reading
The Coen Brothers have done it again. I thought they lost their touch after watching The Lady Killers a few years back. It didn't have the same rugged appeal to me as movies like O Brother, Where Art Thou and Fargo. Then they rebounded with No Country For Old Men which I thought was one of the best movies of 2007. With Burn After Reading, we get a star-studded cast to complement superb writing.
After watching trailers for Burn After Reading, I was fairly certain that I would go to see it at the theater. The trailers looked good, but in the end, really didn't do the movie justice. The Coen Brothers own quirky. But quirky films that are well written appeal to me. This film combined the best elements of quirky comedy with excellent dialogue, characters that have dimension that connects with the audience and sub-plots that keep you meandering along a path that you know will eventually take you somewhere. In the end, it turns out the journey was the story, quirks and all. The spinning of this yarn is exceptional. You care about the characters which makes it all the more difficult to lose a couple of them along the way.
In order to deliver on such an interesting script, the Coen Brothers brought in some of the best talent in Hollywood. If you liked Frances McDormand in Fargo and Blood Simple, I can assure you she delivers the same idiosyncratic performance as the characters she has played in the past. Her ability to create characters that are unusual but believable (because they live next door to you) is definitely an asset to this film. She is the true star here...among some of the brightest tinseltown has to offer. Her character Linda Litzke finds herself thrust into the middle of a story of espinoage and CIA secrets...and sees an opportunity to get some cosmetic enhancement through the money she can make with the sensitive information that has come into her possession. The cosmetic enhancements being an end to achieving the happiness that every forty-something (or more) woman should be entitled to...the kind that surpasses the whackos you meet using the internet dating services (which she does). It provides a great platform for the rest of the script to navigate around.
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