O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

(In theaters, June 2001) The problem with pictures made by the Coen Brothers is that you can’t comment them fairly after seeing them only once. Their latest, a series of adventures set in depression-era Deep South, is both exceptional and average, interesting and boring, witty and muddled. George Clooney exhibits considerable charm as always, playing a fast-talking shady character sympathetic enough to hold the film together. O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a film unlike anything you’ve seen before, with music you haven’t heard before and sight you’re unlikely to see again. The mixture of folk music, southern accents and gold-tinted visuals is far, far away from the current Hollywood aesthetics. As far as the story goes, however, some are bound to be disappointed; the film wanders a lot, like the three protagonists, and viewers are likely to remember individual sequences, not a common plot. As a comedy, it’s decidedly low-octane; a steady smile, a few giggles but few outright laughs. Parallels with Homer’s The Odyssey might be overstated, unless you want to impress your date.

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