Ranking the Coens being a favorite film critic pastime, our first instinct was to devote part of the review to ranking the anthology's six chapters.
- R.I.P. Roeg, Bertolucci, Jay -
- Ranking Buster Scruggs -
- Best of the Decade (So Far) -
- Live Show: Tickets On Sale! -
- The Next Picture Show: "The Chicago Way" -
- Cyber Monday Merchandise Sale! -
A bit more on Bertolucci, Roeg and Jay on Friday's show.
Jonjo O'Neill and Brendan Gleeson there as a couple "harvesters of souls" from the final chapter of the new Coen Brothers anthology "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs." (Currently streaming on Netflix, as if you didn't know.)
Sam Van Hallgren here.
Coming Friday, Adam and Josh will have a review of "Scruggs" along with some thoughts on Thanksgiving releases Creed II and Lee Chang-dong's Burning.
Ranking the Coens being a favorite film critic pastime (here's Adam's and here's Josh's), our first instinct was to devote part of the review to ranking the anthology's six chapters. But after actually watching "Scruggs" we came to more or less the same conclusion that writer and critic Mark Harris did:
Speaking only for myself, the individual stories initially felt a little trite until I started to recognize some of their shared themes. And not unlike my experience with a lot of the Coens' stuff, it wasn't really until the next day that I felt like I had a decent handle on what they were up to with this one.
So never mind ranking the chapters. But what about all those incredible performances? Those, I decided, we could rank. So I took to Twitter to poll Filmspotting listeners.
Yes, that 10% vote for "Other" mostly represents the rage at my exclusion of Tim Blake Nelson's titular singing cowboy. But, hey, Twitter only gives you four slots for a poll, so I included my top three. (And I do think it's easy to overlook just how great Nelson is because his chapter plays as much like an elaborately and ingeniously staged music video as it does a narrative. That is not a criticism.)
With his (mostly) one-man show, Waits definitely had the advantage in the poll and probably deserves the win. He also has the anthology's second best line ("How high can birds count anyway?"), withthis line obviously being the clear winner. I may have voted for Melling myself because his chapter - and in particular his sorrowful face - is the one that continues to haunt me.
But this poll does a major disservice to all the wonderful smaller performances that populate the anthology, in particular by actors I'd never encountered before. Willie "The Kid" Watson, Bill "Billy Knapp" Heck (aka Keanu in a Cowboy Hat), Grainger "Mr. Arthur" Hines, Chelcie "Trapper" Ross and Jonjo O'Neill (above).
Join the conversation about "Scruggs" over on Letterboxd.
Josh's review. Mine.
Adam is currently keeping his cards close to his chest.
Review on Friday's show.
BEST OF THE DECADE
From what I can tell, @RyanDubbbya was just some random dude who's into movies when he crafted that early Thanksgiving morning tweet.
And yet somehow, within 24 hours, director Barry Jenkins had responded with his own list.