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O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Everett Ulysses McGill (George Clooney) is a silver-tongued petty criminal eager to make his escape from the chain gang in Mississippi, serving a term of hard labour. Still shackled together, McGill and fellow convicts, the simple Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) and maladjusted Pete (John Turturro), he makes a dash for freedom and embark on a mission to recover a fortune in buried treasure, but the trio get entangled in a series of unexpected and sometimes bizarre adventures along the way, with lawman Cooley (Daniel Von Bargden) in pursuit.

An M rating means ‘Recommended for mature audiences…” but I beg to differ. This is the Coen brothers in full immature mode, and I recommend the DVD as a one night stand for anyone feeling in the mood for some lighthearted nonsense. It’s not every day you see George Clooney in a hairnet, after all – and he did win a Golden Globe Award as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his efforts.

He plays Everett Ulysses McGill, a silver-tongued petty criminal eager to make his escape from the chain gang in Mississippi, serving a term of hard labour. (Musta dun summat rong…) Still shackled together, McGill and fellow convicts, the simple Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson) and maladjusted Pete (John Turturro), they make a dash for freedom and embark on a mission to recover a fortune in buried treasure, but the trio get entangled in a series of unexpected and sometimes bizarre adventures along the way, with lawman Cooley (Daniel Von Bargden) in pursuit.

Like a funny idea that gets thrown around a group of friends at a bar one night, embellished with ever more outlandish elements as the night (and the booze) goes on, O Brother . . . begins to spin fairly early and spins right out before the second reel. You either go with it or you get spun off the seat. If you’ve got as far as paying for your ticket, you would know this is a Coen brothers film, so don’t go expecting Paul Verhoeven. Idiosyncratic is a good way to describe the film; there are moments of near genius with intermittent stretches of imperfection. But the cast take it all on board with a zest that is refreshing and entertaining.

The story itself – the Coen’s version of Homer’s The Odyssey, but this is no 1920s replica – is really a hokey pastiche that jokes about its origins with a wry, good-natured and juvenile sensibility. It’s fun, with panto proportions.
Andrew L. Urban

Published July 26, 2001

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O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? (M)
(US)

CAST: George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro, Chris Thomas King, John Goodman, Michael Badalucco, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning
DIRECTOR: Joel Coen
RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: June 13, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES
None (scene selection)
Presentation: widescreen 1.85:1, 16:9 enhanced, Dolby 5.1, Languages: English, German, Italian, Spanish Subtitles: English, German, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, Hebrew, Hungarian, Portuguese, Turkish







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