NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
2007, Park Circus/Miramax, 122 min, USA, Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

A mesmerizing thriller from Academy Award-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the acclaimed novel by Pulitzer Prize winning American master Cormac McCarthy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. When Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds a pickup truck surrounded by a sentry of dead men with a load of heroin and two million dollars in cash still in the back, a chain reaction of catastrophic violence begins that not even the law–in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) – can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers–in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives (Javier Bardem) – the film simultaneously strips down the American crime drama and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headline.


A SERIOUS MAN
2009, Focus Features, 105 min, USA/UK/France, Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Jewish physics professor Larry Gropnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) can't catch a break: his wife (Sari Lennick) wants a divorce, his malady-laden brother (Richard Kind) is living on his couch, and his tenure is endangered by a small misunderstanding that snowballs into a fiasco. Only the Coen brothers could make such a modern-day Job's plight so painfully hilarious; their return to the world of Minnesota academia in which they grew up yields one of their richest, most personal films to date.


INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
2013, CBS Films, 105 min, USA, Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Just before the early-1960s folk boom turned them into magnets for aspiring singers, the clubs and coffeehouses of Greenwich Village were peopled by the likes of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a struggling troubadour whose traditional repertoire puts him on the margins of the music business along with a handful of other earnest and occasionally eccentric characters. The Coen brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS brings the birth of folk into focus as effectively as their O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? did bluegrass. That earlier film’s musical midwife, T Bone Burnett, handles similar duties here as an Executive Music Producer, and stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake all do their own singing on screen. The film was the Grand Prix award winner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.


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