Berkreviews.com Movie Club – November 2019 Coen Brothers

Jonathan (@berkreviews) and Corey (@coreyrstarr) are both big fans of many of the Coen’s films, but both still have some gaps in their filmography. In fact, by the end of this month Jonathan will have completed viewing all of the directed films by the brother duo, an accomplishment he’s been waiting on for a couple of years. For Corey, it’s a chance to check off two major early films from the Coen’s that she just hadn’t gotten around to watching…until now.

As far as the podcast goes, each episode features an in-depth review of the movie for the week. They begin with a spoiler-free review before diving in completely after the needed spoiler warning. However, before getting into the review of the week, Jonathan and Corey discuss what other movies they’ve seen since the last episode as well as anything else they feel like discussing. To help them decide which of the many films to watch each month they started creating themes for them all.

Week 1: Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

Jonathan picked the first of three Coen films with Intolerable Cruelty (2003). The film stars Coen regular George Clooney alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones in this quirky crime rom-com. IMDb.com’s plot synopsis reads, “A beautiful gold digger matches wits with a shrewd Beverly Hills divorce lawyer who is increasingly attracted to her.”

Week 2: Miller’s Crossing (1990)

One of Corey’s biggest gaps is the beloved Miller’s Crossing (1990). Good friend and podcast collaborator Michael Sanchez recommended this years ago and Berk watched it during his initial run of 366 in 366. The film stars Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro (another Coen regular), and others in this gritty crime drama. “Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.”

Week 3: The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

It may be clear that Jonathan avoided some of the Coen’s comedies with his second pick and gap being The Hudsucker Proxy. Starring Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, and a MC favorite Jennifer Jason Leigh, the film is about “A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.”

Week 4: Barton Fink (1991)

Barton Fink (1991) is next up for Corey and it happens to be a favorite of Jonathan’s. John Turturro returns in the lead role alongside John Goodman and Judy Davis this time as “a renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.”

Week 5: Raising Arizona (1987)

The last movie on the Coen’s filmography for Jonathan to check off is also one of their oldest, Raising Arizona (1987). The iconic comedy stars Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, and Trey Wilson seems to be full of Coen style with humor and crime mingling together. The plot reads, “When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family’s quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.”

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