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O Brother, Where Art Thou?


58. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)



If I'm not mistaken, this is the first Coen Brothers entry on my list. I can tell you already that it won't be the last and I can also tell you that many of their films were in the running for some of the lower spots on my list. There was never a doubt, however, that this film would make it. I simply adore it.

Studying classic roman languages like Greek or Latin is still a fairly common thing in my country. I personally attended Latin classes for six years in high school. I wasn't the very best at actually translating the texts we had to read, but the content of the stories, the history of the Roman empire, the philosophical studies and the extra cultural baggage were always interesting.
This film is based on one of the most famous Greek texts, called "The Oddysey" by Homer. It's an epic story about the tumultuous return of Greek king Oddyseus, after the Trojan War, to his home country. Naturally, this was one of the big stories we read in Latin class (even though it's actually a Greek story), so I am pretty familiar with the source material.



The coens did something very cool with it, in my opinion. They transformed the epic Greek legend into a comedy that's set in the environment of the South of the USA during the 1930s and Oddyseus' crew is reduced to three escaped prisoners, played by George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson. The script is hilarious and is also a beautiful hommage to the classic literature it is based on. It uses certain story elements of the classic legend in a very fluent manner and it perfectly transfers some of the source material's original meanings, be it in a light and typically coenesque fashion.



This is also the film that made me a huge fan of George Clooney. Beside his obvious charisma and star power, I think his comical timing is phenomenal in this. He carries this film brilliantly.

If you're in the mood for an entertaining, hilarious, visually stunning and adventurous ride through the old South with a delightful classical touch, you should definitely see this film. It's a great piece of modern cinema!


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