Drama comedy that manage to mix folk myth with folk lore and folk music into a refreshing and vitalized take on an old and often filmed classic (Homer's The Odyssey). The typical Coen style of mixing actors with almost cartoony faces and getting them to play together again enrich their films and Clooney has a good Cary Grant vibe over him in this film.
One of my favourite film by the Coens. Besides an excellent use of music I especially like the carefully crafted dramaturgical arch starting with the convicts chained together and ending with the daughters tied in line with a rope and leading through the stations of Homer's "Odyssee". Using digital coloring is a perfect means to underline the aesthetic of the film by giving it the appearance of historic postcards.
Non il tentativo più riuscito nella cinematografia Coeniana, ma ciononostante è un film piacente. Ponderati e mai eccessivi i riferimenti all'opera omerica, mentre la classica comicità dei Fratelli riesce sempre a strappare con intelligenza le giuste risate. La regia è di gusto e ben assemblata, mentre la fotografia, per quanto viva ed apprezzabile nei sui numerosi colori, risulta un pochino troppo "digitale". 3 1/2.
The transposition of Greek myth onto Southern screwball musical fable works surprisingly well, resulting in some of the most inventive & genuinely surreal sequences of the Coen's career. While the once novel use of digital grading to manipulate the colour gives the film a primitive, almost hand-drawn quality, the political subtext has matured into something remarkably timely & even relevant from today's perspective.
3.5 stars. My brother is stupid enough that he got in trouble at school for saying "I love the Ku Klux Klan" in reference to 'O Brother'. While this was partly his fault, it was partly the fault of the Coens. Dubious laffs aside this is pretty irresistable goofy fun with a killer soundtrack. Makes it seem as though the Deep South has all the best colours. A deeply weird piece of historical myth-making tomfoolery.
I felt like I was watching a George Clooney demo reel. Characters? Played for laughs, didn't care about any of them. Laughs? Didn't have any. I could tell when I was supposed to be laughing though. Plot? I get it, but what was the point? What ideas were being explored? Music? The music was good.
It can be hard sometimes to determine if the Coens are prophets of their trade or, like Clooney's McGill, sharp-tongued snake-oil salesmen. I used to be fond of 'O Brother' but on revisit it seems laden with iconography and hollow in meaning. Often reviews of their work consist of noting the references; sometimes like 'Fink' they use reference to great effect. In contrast this feels episodic, vaguely entertaining.