PARADISE
2013, Image Entertainment, 86 min, USA, Dir: Diablo Cody

For her directorial debut, Diablo Cody offers a take on religious belief that’s unexpectedly warm but just as funny and quotable as her Oscar-winning script for JUNO. After conservative churchgoer Lamb Mannerheim (Julianne Hough) survives a plane crash, she decides life’s too short to box with God and heads for Sin City, where a bartender (Russell Brand) and a lounge singer (Octavia Spencer) introduce her to some of Las Vegas’ worldly pleasures. With Nick Offerman and Holly Hunter.


O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
2000, Buena Vista Pictures, 106 min, USA, Dir: Joel Cohen

Taking much of its inspiration from Homer’s The Odyssey, this Coen brothers comedy stars George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as escaped convicts in Depression-era Mississippi. On a wild goose chase for loot from a previous crime, the trio encounter bluesmen, bank robbers, Bible thumpers and politicos, and become unlikely hitmakers as the “Soggy Bottom Boys” (in real life, the film’s bluegrass-filled soundtrack topped charts and won three Grammys). Costarring John Goodman. The title is taken from the social-realist film-within-a-film Joel McCrea's character wants to make in Preston Sturges' SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS!


RAISING ARIZONA
1987, 20th Century Fox, 94 min, USA, Dir: Joel Coen

This staggeringly hilarious chronicle of the romance between inept bad boy Nicolas Cage and straight-arrow cop Holly Hunter was an unexpected follow up to the Coen brothers’ chilling BLOOD SIMPLE. The kidnap scheme that follows when the loving couple learn they can’t conceive kids is guaranteed to provoke more laughs per minute than any American comedy since the heyday of 1930s screwball cinema. With John Goodman and William Forsythe.


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