MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland


Jewboy that I am, I am IN LOVE with this trailer… it is so brilliantly Coen… and then, it is so insanely smart, even in this small bite, about being Jew.
The only real flaw (nod to Chucky) is that the name-checking of all their movies at the end is really lame. If you know the Coens, you don’t need the list. If you don’t, you sure as hell are not going to this film.
As for Oscar, Focus is focused elsewhere. They don’t want to hear Oscar touting for this film. And I get that. But with 10 films and our tribe’s well-known power base in the voting, if the movie comes close to the promise of this trailer, it will be a nominee for Best Picture.

(You can get the HD and other larger versions here.)

26 Responses to “OY!!!!”

  1. martin says:

    It’s a good trailer, but I don’t get as much of a sense of the film as I like, so it feels more like a teaser. Actually, it feels like a sort of arty little short film of its own until the dreaded name checking comes up. Don’t recognize the lead actor, but his voice sounded a bit like Tobey Maguire. ALso I don’t think the “directed by Coen Bros” was really even necessary, are there really any other directors making films like this?

  2. Lota says:

    it looks hilarious. I like Coen “good” comedy, and this looks like it will be a good one.
    That was a whole-lotta scrolling name-checking. Chucky will need an elephant tranquilizer so get the high-powered rifle-with-scope ready.

  3. Aris P says:

    Looks great. Not sure about that list either, hopefully it doesn’t stay (why was Barton Fink not there, and why was Burn??).
    Also, did I see the always fantastic Richard Kind at the 48 second mark?

  4. LexG says:

    Are there any “film geeks,” or major critics, who don’t dig the Coens?
    Just curious, especially after reading thread after thread of us tearing each others’ heads off over Quentin Tarantino. I can’t remember ever reading a “movie blog” or site discussion where there was a really vitriolic love-hate thing for the Coens. When you think of how combative people get on one side or the other (at least in “our” circles) over Spielberg, Woody, DePalma, Mallick, Spike, Lynch, it’s odd. Even an “untouchable” like Scorsese, Altman or Kubrick has a dissenting naysayer or two among the critical and geek elite.
    But almost to a person, every “film dude” — Gen X, slacker, goatee, hanging out at Nuart and New Beverly type in particular — worships these guys as gods, even through their sort of iffy runs.
    I know Gleiberman was kinda calling them out pretty bad during that O BROTHER/INTOLERABLE CRUELTY run, and he had some decent points.
    I’m not a detractor by any means, but I infinitely prefer their crime-based films with suspense passages and flamboyant violence (Fargo, No Country, Lebowski, Blood Simple, Miller’s) to their arch cornpone comedies. I like some of those too, but Clooney has never seemed a good fit with that kind of humor, no matter how frantically he mugs.
    So when you pipe up with, eh, “Hudsucker Proxy” is kind of annoying, mannered and cutesy, or that “O Brother” is a grating mugfest, it’s practically like you’re insulting these guys’ religion.
    I’m just trying to think of any other director(s) of the last 25, 30 years with like a 99% approval rating from geeks and critics… even though in anecdotal experience, they leave a lot of regular moviegoers (especially female) kind of cold.

  5. Geoff says:

    I would certainly put Clint Eastwood and the Pixar folks up there – you will hear VERY few criticisms of them.
    Yes, I know that Gran Turino had its detractors, but really, Eastwood has become a sacred cow and any criticism of his movies still holds up a high level of reverance.
    Pixar gets pretty universal acclaim on the blogs for pretty much each of their films – sure, Cars had some whimpers of criticism, but I still think that film got more praise just for being Pixar. Otherwise, I really think they deserve the praise, though I don’t get why Up has been put so far near the top by recent fans – it’s a very good film, but I would say in the bottom half of the Pixar filmography.
    Trying to think back further anything bad ever written about Mike Leigh, but he often does not register. Just seems like every film he does gets a contingent crowing how it was robbed of Oscar nods every year.
    There WAS a time when you would never hear anything bad about Steve Soderburgh, but that time has passed.

  6. leahnz says:

    ‘Are there any “film geeks,” or major critics, who don’t dig the Coens?’
    NO. because the coens are fucking legend
    (and even their crappiest flicks are still pretty damn original, can’t say that about many)
    and what ‘anecdotal experience’, lex? you’re always complaining how you never talk to any females

  7. mutinyco says:

    The line reading on, “He didn’t look busy,” is pure John Cazale.

  8. IOIOIOI says:

    What a great trailer. The namechecking list at the end would be hilarious. If it started with this; “From the Oustanding Genius That Rocked Your Fucking World With Such Movies as… “

  9. Wrecktum says:

    Great trailer, unsure how how I’d ike the movie. It seems just a bit too Jew for me. Meaning…it seems to revel in male Jewish angst, which I can’t relate to at all. It’s great to see the Coens try something a bit more personal, but I suspect the end product won’t be my cup of tea.

  10. chris says:

    Solid point, Wrecktum. I hate movies that aren’t about people exactly like me.

  11. chris says:

    Oh, and I agree about the list but I’m OK with Focus pitching the Coens as the stars of the film. I imagine a studio gets a little nervous when the biggest star in the movie is Richard Kind.

  12. Wrecktum says:

    “I hate movies that aren’t about people exactly like me.”
    Boy, you missed what I was saying, didn’t you?

  13. I think it looks great too, but I don’t think it looks anything like an Oscar movie and Focus is smart to keep that discussion out of it.

  14. a_loco says:

    Looks a lot better than Burn After Reading. Seems more concerned with generating humour than with giving us stars acting like idiots.
    But we’ll see.

  15. Geoff, not to sound like IO here, but you’re not reading the right places if you don’t think Eastwood has haters. My god that make is annoying sometimes and there are plenty who agree.
    I… like the trailer. But… I dunno. Something didn’t do it for me. Maybe because it’s just a collage of tiny moments that I don’t get a sense of it.
    Aris P, maybe because Burn After Reading is not only their most recent movie, but also their second highest grossing. The rollcall of titles was silly though.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    Armond White and Jonathan Rosenbaum, both more-or-less ‘major’ critics, aren’t Coen fans. Rosenbaum finds them ‘smug’ and hated Barton Fink in particular for what they appeared to be saying about Clifford Odets. I can’t explain White’s reasoning (beyond simple-minded contrarianism) as it seems to shift from movie to movie.
    I’m sure there are a couple more.

  17. mysteryperfecta says:

    The head-banging became a little grating. But the lead actor is immediately endearing. I just don’t know where this all leads– does the guy snap and go on a “Falling Down” rampage?

  18. Direwolf says:

    As revealed in the comments about Coen love and geeks, the film listing is for the non-geeks. BTW, those non-geeks bought tickets for Burn After Reading which is why it is in the list.

  19. bmcintire says:

    Since there is pretty much not a single recognizable “star” in this thing, the roll-call of previous titles was practically a requirement to sell it.
    Loved the trailer, btw.

  20. chris says:

    “A bit to Jew for me?” No, I think I got what you were saying, Wrecktum.

  21. David Poland says:

    Kris… The Departed didn’t look like an Oscar movie… Slumdog Millionaire wasn’t going to get a theatrical release…
    Any movie that has real love from adult viewers, decent box office, and the serious support of a studio looks like an Oscar movie in a year with 10 films being nominated.
    My estimate would be that in a 10 film field, at least 4, maybe as many as 6 Coens movies would have been BP nominated by now. Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing, O Brother Where Are Thou… all movies that may well have been nominated in a field of 10.
    Obviously, we can only guess what films will be loved in which way at this point. We know what films are already on the fence (Hurt Locker) and which ones have fallen off.
    There are a bunch of tweeners, like this one, Precious, An Education, The Informant!, Shutter Island, The Lovely Bones, Bright Star… I mean, who knows how they will hit the industry zeitgeist? And with this many slots, all of these films could end up strong in the race… or just not catch.
    “I don’t think it looks anything like an Oscar movie” seems like a very Old Man thing to say… especially in the face of the wider swath of nominees.
    Is Focus smart to not play Oscar with this? Yes. Sell the movie, not the Oscar race. And then, hope the Oscar race comes to you.

  22. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Focus IS playing Oscar, DP. This outfit uses Academy Award references and name-checking more than anyone else in Hollywood — studio, dependent or indie. No wonder Focus’ releases never hit big. (Parent company Universal has gone much the same route.)
    The public will see this and think Snob! LOSER!

  23. bmcintire says:

    The public will look at this and think “Oh, I’ve heard of those and I think I remember liking them. What was this called again?”

  24. Wrecktum says:

    “‘A bit to Jew for me?’ No, I think I got what you were saying, Wrecktum.”
    That I was making the exact opposite argument as Poland, using the same language? And that you automatically cry foul without noticing what I was doing? No, I don’t think you really understood what I was saying.

  25. The Big Perm says:

    Name checking, oh FUCK! Fuck me, noooo!
    Tell us Chucky you asshole, how do you sell this movie with no stars without mentioning other movies the Coens have made? We all know you won’t, you ignorant fuck.

  26. Chucky is a LOSER!
    Ooh, snaps to me.

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