Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We Can't Wait #2 Burn After Reading

Directed by The Coen Bros
Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Richard Jenkins, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand
Synopsis OK... this is a Coen Bros comedy so the plot is pretty crazed and probably best left discovered in the theater. It involves a CIA Agent (Malkovich) his friend (Clooney) his wife (Swinton) and two gym trainers (McDormand and Pitt) who get their hands on a disc containing the Agent's memoirs and plan to blackmail him with it. Lots of confusion, internet dating (?) and comedic hijinx ensue.
Brought to You By Working Title Films & Focus Features
Expected Release Date Sept 26th, 2008

Nathaniel: We're reaching the tippity top of the list and it's harder to breathe up here. All I heard was the Coen Bros and my mind sort of went blank like a dial tone. Only in a pleasureable way like Meryl Streep humming to her toes in Adaptation. I realize that isn't a Coen Bros reference but my mind wanders through celluloid like that.

Anywayyy... someone take it from here. Please to explain. It's obviously high on everyone's lists.

MaryAnn: It's the Coen Brothers. Honestly, need more be said? Well, okay then: It's George and Brad. And Tilda. And Malkovich and McDormand.

George Clooney filming a scene in Brooklyn Heights

And -- oh my god -- parts of this were shot in the Bronx, too!

Glenn: Unlike The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I am looking forward to Brad Pitt in this Coen Bros flick - their first after their sure-to-be-Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men. He's worked well with George Clooney before and we all know that George Clooney worked well with Tilda Swinton before, too, so throw in the Coen Bros who are coming down from their (feel free to argue this point) career apex and I'm doing my best not to quake in anticipation.

Joe: It really is like a Six Degrees Mobius Strip kind of thing, where Brad worked with Clooney and Clooney worked with Tilda (who is in Benjamin Button with Pitt), and also with the Coens (the underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou?), and the Coens have obviously worked with Frances McDormand, who was in North Country with Richard Jenkins, and on and on. Good to see the Coens returning to (I'm assuming) screwball comedy after the dark night of their Oscar-winning (fingers still crossed) soul. Great director plus all-star cast. It's the easiest math I know.

Nathaniel: Yes, math and I aren't tight but that's a simple mouthwatering equation. It's always tough to come off of a masterpiece or near masterpiece or whatever No Country was but this should be an easy transition on account of... how do you compare? That's another way of saying that I'm glad it's a comedy and an original screenplay again after the adaptations they've been doing. I love Fargo and Raising Arizona like crazy. And The Big Lebowski I've been itching to see again. It's time for a comedic Coen home festival.

What's your favorite Coen Bros? I mean, apart from No Country For Old Men.
<-- Sister Aloysius prays for your wicked soul if you haven't been reading the "we can't wait" countdown #1 Synecdoche, New York / #2 Burn After Reading / #3 Australia / #4 Milk / #5 Blindness / # 6 Doubt / #7 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / #8 Revolutionary Road / #9 The Dark Knight / #10 Sex & The City: The Movie / #11 The Lovely Bones / #12 Wall-E / #13 Stop-Loss / #14 The Women / #15 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince / Introduction / Orphans


Jason Adams said...

Wow, you threw me off for a sec there at the start, Nat, with your listing John Malkovich as Clooney's wife - that is a mistake, right? I had all these Being John Malkovich flashbacks where his face was grafted onto all of the characters and.... that is not a place one wants to go to, if one can help it.

Alex F. said...

As much as I'm excited about another Coens movie the fact that Clooney and Pitt are in it together give me some pause. I guess I haven't forgiven them for Ocean's 12 (I skipped 13).

But we'll see...

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Apart from maybe Erroll Morris or Terrence Malick, no other working American director(s) makes me excited like the Coens. And then there's the prospect of the Coens working with Swinton, Malkovich and (!!!) Frances McDormand (I also quite like Clooney but his over-exposure is starting to get to me). I haven't much looked at upcoming releases for this year, but assuming Almodovar's next joint is being pushed back to '09, this would probably be my no.1 most anticipated.

As for my favourite Coen Bros - is it too soon to say No Country for Old Men? Otherwise I would still rank Fargo and The Man Who Wasn't There among my favourite films of the past couple decades, and I adore O Brother and The Hudsucker Proxy. Once I revisit Blood Simple and Big Lebowski, I have a feeling I might adore them as well.

Unknown said...

Fargo Fargo Fargo. Definitely. I'm so excited to see them working with McDormand again.

Glenn Dunks said...

I think deciding which is the Coen's best film comes down to a matter of preference. Dark Domedy of Dark Drama?

J.D. said...

Of all the people involved with this film, only one can get me genuinely excited:

Emmanuel. Lubezki.


DrG said...

Definitely Fargo for me - but I really need to check out some of their 80's work back catalogue.

I am most perplexed at what #1 could be tho...?

Anonymous said...

You know, I'm not a Coens' freak. I think NCFOM is their best film by far, but I'd also say that they've made maybe four or five good films. And that's being generous. So I'm curious whether NCFOM is a fluke or a turning of the page.

What I want is a director to surprise me. 2006 had Cuaron who just shattered the ceiling in terms of my opinion of him. I had viewed his previous works as, at best, minor pleasures, but Children of Men was so heartstoppingly brilliant that he immediately became a director who's career I'd watch with avid interest. 2007 had Andrew Dominik's film. That's what I want. Yes, slow and steady growth is great (Joe Wright, Fernando Mierelles, Francois Ozon, Michael Winterbottom etc are so clearly on the way to masterpieces), but I want a supernova.

Also, I'd like it if every film that wins a prize at Cannes to get a release before the end of 2008. Seriously. None of this "one-week" qualifying crap that doesn't work and hurts serious filmgoers (an endangered breed as it is).

par3182 said...

1. raising arizona
2. blood simple
3. miller's crossing
4. o brother where art thou?
5. fargo
6. the man who wasn't there

and that's not apart from NCFOM

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

What the? All of a sudden it's Too Much Tilda?

And a Coen Brothers comedy? Those always involve someone getting shot by a gun in an amusing manner as a segue way to the film's conclusion.

(Can the Coen's ever stop killing people?)

Sid said...

Raising arizona remains my favorite - but it's more of a "personal" favorite. I saw it at a time when I hadn't yet turned into a movie freak - I didn't know who they were then. And it absolutely blew me away.

I think Fargo and Blood Simple come close. Most everything by them is terrific though, except The Ladykillers, which is still remarkable in that it features Tom Hanks' only interesting performance in years.

Anonymous said...

It just has to be Fargo for me. Although there are quite a few Coen films I've yet to see.

But I STILL don't get the No Country hosannas. I really don't. I first watched the film in October before all the hype and thought it was good but nothing memorable. Then I watched it again a few weeks ago post-hype to see if I missed something first time round. But all the things that weren't right/memorable about it were just further confirmed for me.

I really do believe people are being fooled into this idea of No Country being a Great Film because it doesn't really have a score and has lots of long silences. It's that noiselessness that gives people the impression that they're watching an Important Movie Event and makes them think they should receive it with reverence. So it should win the Sound Oscars but nothing else.

Catherine said...

Yay! Frances McDormand doesn't work half as much as I wish she'd would (although that's probably a blessing, too much of a good thing etc). I keep completely forgetting that this project exists, so it keeps surprising me.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea that Tilda is now included in George's little troupe of friends/co-stars. I would actually see another Ocean's movie if she had an integral part in it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I want to see Pitt crying because of bleeding nose. He should have taken some lessons from Javier Bardem, that one didn't complain even when a bone was sticking out his arm.
Blah, I'm writing such a bullshit.

Unknown said...

My Coens personal fave remains Blood Simple. I've seen it so many times, it's aquired cult status on my list. Their best I consider to be No Country For Old Men, followed closely by Fargo. Can't wait to see Frances McDormand again.


Anonymous said...

What a stellar cast

Kurtis O said...

O-M-G. 2008 is going to be such an amazing year for movies!! I'm so excited. This is a combined response to the posts about this, Australia, Benjamin Button, and that C. Kauffman NYC film I can't spell at the moment. Insane.