Shortly after the most recent Coen brothers movie, Burn After Reading, was released, my son Matthew saw it, and reported to me that it had been a waste of time. The movie, he reported, was largely senseless.
Matthew’s opinions normally are quite similar to my own, so we let this movie drop from the radar screen. Recently, some new friends reported to me that they had watched it and loved it. That recommendation together with the lure of the stellar cast (I’m a big fan of Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins) drew us in.
As usual, the Coens craft a bizarre story and tell it in a unique way. But this one seemed to go absolutely no where.
When I began teaching junior high English I would ask students to write a story and when they asked how long it would be, I’d give a limit, say, one page. Some students would being a really good story, but seeing that they were near their one page goal, kill off their hero at the end of the page. They had done their duty.
That is what this movie left me feeling. It began well, interesting characters in interesting situations. But the brothers got to their two-hour ‘page’ limit. They were done. Goodbye.
So, if any of you saw it, what am I missing?