O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

StarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Charles Durning, John Goodman, Holly Hunter


Three men break out of a chain gang in Mississippi during the Thirties and set off in pursuit of buried loot before a valley is flooded for a hydroelectric project. After several fantastic encounters, including close calls with a satanic hound-wielding prison officer, they unwittingly become folk heroes.

The Review

Typically whimsical Coen Brothers entertainment, alluding to Preston Sturges (Sullivan's Travels), Homer (The Odyssey) and incidentally Cool Hand Luke. There is little narrative drive, and no discernible point to it all, but they pack in just about every dramatic ingredient one would expect to find in a film set at that time, from Baby Face Nelson to the Ku Klux Klan, and do so with a sureness of touch and taste which is always a delight to behold. The Mississippi accent is opaque at times but the country music that saves our heroes in the end is an inspiration.