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. Costarring Fred Melamed.


FARGO
1996, Park Circus/MGM, 98 min, USA, UK, Dir: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

One of Joel and Ethan Coen’s most acclaimed films (they won Oscars for their screenplay and Frances McDormand got one for Best Actress). Cool, calm, collected (and pregnant!) policewoman Marge (McDormand) tracks the kidnappers of a used car salesman’s wife in North Dakota’s snow-covered wasteland. Salesman Jerry’s (William H. Macy) inept plot to get out of debt by staging the hoax unravels in gory fashion when his two bizarrely mismatched henchmen (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) have a falling-out. That hulking Stormare’s nonchalant, bloodcurdling use of a woodchipper at the climax emerges as both chilling and hilarious testifies to the Coens' complete mastery of tone in the filmmaking process. “…an illuminating amalgam of emotion and thought. It glimpses into the heart of man and unearths a blackly comic nature, hellishly mercurial and selfish, yet strangely innocent. If it weren't so funny, it would be unbearably disturbing.” – Arnold Wayne Jones, The Dallas Observer; “A crime gem that is darkly funny even when it's chilling -- and certain to become a classic.” – Peter Stack, The San Francisco Chronicle.


Syndicate content