The Coen Brothers are perhaps my favorite filmmakers. It’s them or Wes Anderson, though Paul Thomas Anderson has risen in years as well. I happened to notice that there are, at least, three Coen Brothers films on Netflix. There could be more, but I stopped after I saw three because it meant I could recommend a weekend day filled with the Coens. So let’s get to it
I’m starting with The Big Lebowski. I think it’s a great movie. It’s one of my favorites. I know a lot of people love it. Some maybe are excessive about their love. Look, you’ll never catch me at Lebowski-fest or whatever. That’s not my style. I don’t let other people’s fandom impact my own, though. The movie is hilarious and full of great quotes and has excellent performances. If you have been wary of watching it because of people who say they are a member of the religion “Dudeism” I get it, but don’t hold that against the movie.
After starting with Lebowski, I was trying to figure out what to do next. Instead of going chronological, I figured I would put The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in the middle. I didn’t want to have you end the evening with that film, which is bleak and also the least good of these three. The film is an anthology revisionist Western, which is a bold swing in the modern era. I love the first segment and really like a couple other segments, but a few are pretty middling, to be honest. Some of it is just so nihilistic and grim in a way that feels heavy handed. That first segment, though, is just so great.
Then, I am going to end things with Hail, Ceasar!, which I think is the most-underrated Coen Brothers film. Of course, it’s about movie making and old Hollywood, which is right up my alley. The movie focuses on Eddie Mannix, a “fixer” for a studio with a lot of problems to deal with. It’s a funny film and an odd one, which makes it a good watch at the end of the night. Maybe you will discover a new Coen gem. I really wanted to end this article with a Lebowski quote, but I will refrain because what quote haven’t we all heard a million times already?