O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

DailyView: Day 113, Movie 186

We are heading back to the world of the Coen Brothers with one of their best films, the satire O Brother, Where Art Thou? starring George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson.

This was a fun, laugh out loud film that took some great comedic performances from its three main characters and turned it into a fully engaging and entertaining movie.

Everett (George Clooney), Pete (John Turturro) and Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) were together on a chain gang, attached by a chain, when they were able to make their escape. Everett told the others about a grand treasure that he had buried and he offered to split it with them for their help. Pete and Delmar were not the brightest bulb around so they went along, traipsing through the South where they found themselves in all manner of troubles.

The film is a satire on Homer’s Odyssey, and the trials of Odysseus in an attempt to find his way home. In the Odyssey, Homer writes about all of the distractions Odysseus had to face and overcome to continue the journey. Whereas Odysseus had to face the dangers of the Ancient Greece world, Everett, Delmar and Pete had to confront such distractions as a obsessed lawman (Daniel von Bargen), Tommy (Chris Thomas King) who was a black guitar player who claimed to have sold his soul to the devil, the Ku Klux Klan, a fairly crooked gubernatorial political race between Gov. Pappy O’Daniel (Charles Durning) and his challenger Homer Stokes (Wayne Duvall), a group of singing women ‘sirens’, and more.

Each of these trips take time away from the ultimate goal, which may not be exactly what Everett had claimed.

The music of the film is fantastic. Not only do the three escaped fugitives belt out some great music (as the Soggy Bottom Boys), it seemed as if every time they found themselves off target, it was connected to the music. There are some wonderful folk songs played throughout the film, and the music does a great job of punctuating each scene that it is used with.

There was such a clever screenplay behind this movie and the music complimented everything the film was trying to do. Then with three amazing performances from Clooney, Turturro and Nelson, this is one of my favorite Coen Brothers movies, right up there with Fargo and The Big Lebowski. Entertaining film.

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