Burn After Reading - Laugh after seeingPosted: Updated:
Everybody hated the ending-even the critics who praised the movie. And while I liked "No Country for Old Men" I was not that impressed with the Coen Brothers critically hailed masterpiece. In my book, an Oscar winning Best Movie should be as close to perfection as possible, not one where everybody hates the ending or perceived lack thereof. But from the very beginning, the prolific brothers cast a long shadow that they will forever struggle to live up to. Not every film can be a "Blood Simple" or a "Raising Arizona" but they can come close. Very close.
This time around, The Coen's are back to exploring their gift for black comedy in their new film " ". And it is very black and very funny indeed.
When gym employees (Francis McDormand, Brad Pitt) stumble upon a CD left behind in the locker room, they get visions of grandeur and try to sell what they think are secret government files. And while the CD does have information about a downsized government employee (John Malkovich), they are merely the musings from his memoir. So begins a comedy of errors where marital infidelity, greed and plain stupidity collide.
This time out the Coen's have rounded up the usual "A" list of celebrities to play along, including a couple of their favorites. Francis McDormand is a standout as a neurotic, body conscious gym worker who's looking for love on the internet and a way to finance some massive plastic surgery. Brad Pitt is hysterical as her co-worker and confidant. Sporting a modified "Johnny Suede" do, he looks amazingly young. He is wonderfully hyper and plain goofy as a hard body who's obviously seen one too many "Bourne" movies!
And what a pleasure to see John Malkovich! He is his usual brilliant self, infusing each line with everything from subtle nuances to full blown mania! It is nearly impossible to watch anyone else when Malkovich is on screen. Holding his own is George Clooney as an affable serial cheater who's more than just a wee bit paranoid. Tilda Swinton plays Malkovich's high strung cheating wife to her dramatic best but her character merely serves as a plot device.
The movie has plenty of twists, turns and big surprises. But don't worry if you get a little lost in the plot. It's deliberately murky and that's okay. You'll never be as lost as the characters in this quasi send up of espionage amongst idiots.
In the vein of all Coen Brothers films, this movie is for discerning adults who aren't offended by adult themes. Let Judd Apatow make funny movies for the kiddies, this one is strictly adult fare but be warned there are probably more F bombs dropped in Burn After Reading than Superbad could ever dream of!
Far from perfect but a lot of fun, I highly recommend seeing this witty celebration of ignorance!
"Burn After Reading" serves up 4 Red Vines for big laughs from big stars
LADIES ROOM LOWDOWN: I watched a critics screening of this movie with my fellow movie critiquing co-host Gayle Bass. We haven't talked about it yet but judging from her laughter she liked it as much as I did, as did the rest of the critics in the audience.