113 of 128 people found the following review helpful
A triumph of a movie, thoroughly enjoyable,
The Coen brothers have a cult following, but until I saw this movie, I didn't count myself among the masses that love the Coens. However, with this movie, this brother team has cemented their reputation as serious and skilled filmmakers with a lot to say and a stylish way of saying it.
This movie is a loose retelling of "The Odyssey" by Homer, set in the Depression-era Deep South. George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson make an unlikely team of escaped convicts who embark on a journey of the weird and wonderful. Watch for the appearance of many famous Odyssey allusions, such as the Sirens and the Cyclops (among others). The Coens' quirky take on this classic tale is delightful and perfectly executed, and the script is beautifully and humorously written. The sets and filming are artistic and a bit mythical, and the casting choices are just great. The film is peopled with interesting characters, in classic Coen brothers fashion. Look for great supporting characters played by John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning, and others.
And that's not all! Interwoven in this film are great depression-era songs and some original songs, with excellent music direction by T-bone Burnett. Who says Moulin Rouge is the first movie in a long while to take the musical format? This movie is just as much a musical as Baz Luhrmann's much-hyped movie.
I really believe that this movie reaches heights that previous Coen brothers movies (even Fargo) haven't reached. In addition, I believe this movie was slighted by the Academy during Oscar time. This movie was one of the best films of the year, and excelled in every aspect a film can be awarded for.