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Watch Out Cannes 2015, The Coen Brothers Are Coming


Ethan Coen Joel Coen

Joel and Ethan Coen are to serve as co-presidents of the 68th Cannes Film Festival jury. The official line-up and jury will be announced in April while the festival takes place May 13-24.

Coen brothersThe Coen brothers had success at the Cannes Film Festival with Inside Llewyn Davis

"We look forward to returning to Cannes this year," the Oscar-winning directors said in a statement. "We welcome as always the opportunity to watch movies there from all over the world. Cannes is a festival that has been important to us since the very beginning of our career. Presiding over the Jury is a special honor, since we have never heretofore been president of anything. We will issue further proclamations at the appropriate time."

Continue reading: Watch Out Cannes 2015, The Coen Brothers Are Coming

Fargo Recap: 'The Rooster Prince' - Pay Attention, Things Are Getting Complicated


Ethan Coen Joel Coen

This week’s episode of Fargowas yet another downer, but maybe it comes with the territory for a show, set in the desolate Minesota prairie.  Beware, spoilers ahead. Fargo episode 2, The Rooster Prince, opens with another stark, snowy landscape to help set the mood. Something is on its way. Literally. “Something” comes in the form of two mysterious travelers – an unknown, leather jacket and mutton chop-sporting man and his passenger, whose identity is hidden away by a large coat, majestic beard and a pair of sunglasses. 

Martin Freeman
The Coen Brothers' adaptation of their 1996 film is just as dense as the original.

As the two arrive in Bemidji, the town is still rocked by the deaths of trucking boss Sam Hess, police chief Vern Thurman, and bullying wife Pearl Nygaard. Apparently the mysterious pair have been sent by Fargo, the crime syndicate overseeing Hess’ empire. They ask for Max Gold, whose exact position within the firm is still unknown, though he acts like a money man or lawyer. It seems like he is overseeing the business in Hess’ place.

Continue reading: Fargo Recap: 'The Rooster Prince' - Pay Attention, Things Are Getting Complicated

Martin Freeman To Star In 'Fargo' TV Show, But As Which Character?


Martin Freeman Ethan Coen

Martin Freeman, the British actor who began his career alongside Ricky Gervais on The Office before going onto Hollywood stardom, has signed on to star on FX's adaptation of the Coen brothers' classic Fargo.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Freeman will play the role of Lester Nygaard, portrayed by William H. Macy in the 1996 feature film that was nominated for best picture at the Oscars and remains a Coen brother's fan favourite. The new 10-episode limited series will follow an all-new "true crime story" with a new case.

Freeman's character is an insurance salesman who has seen better days. His life suddenly changes forever when a mysterious stranger comes to town. The part earned Macy a nomination for best supporting actor at the Oscars and remains one of the finest individual performances in the Coen oeuvre. 

Continue reading: Martin Freeman To Star In 'Fargo' TV Show, But As Which Character?

Billy Bob Thornton Comes On Board For FX's "Fargo" Project


Billy Bob Thornton Joel Coen Ethan Coen

Billy Bob Thornton, aka That Guy From Armageddon, has been cast in an upcoming FX series – Fargo. According to Deadline, the true crime series will be executive produced by none other than the Coen brothers, who were the brains behind the original 1996 movie on which the series is based. The project is a 10-episode limited series and it will focus on an entirely new case with new characters. One thing that will be carried over from the original is the trademark dark humor and “Minnesota nice.”

Billy Bob Thornton, Austin Film Fest
Billy Bob will be the villain.

Thornton has signed on to play Lorne Malvo, a seedy, controlling character, who meets a traveling salesman and manipulates the man into ruin. He is described as reminiscent of the character of Gaear in the film.

Continue reading: Billy Bob Thornton Comes On Board For FX's "Fargo" Project

Gambit Trailer


Harry Deane is a pretty hopeless British art curator who has suffered years of condescension and disrespect at the hands of his preposterously rich and eccentric boss that is the renowned art collector Lionel Shabandar. Frustrated at his own lack of recognition in the art world, Harry decides to organise an elaborate plot of revenge on his employer by tricking him into buying a seemingly priceless Monet painting that happens to be a fake. As part of his cunning ploy, he travels to the states and meets a stunning, blonde Texas cowgirl who he enlists to help him by posing alongside her grandmother as inheritors of the valuable piece. He takes her to England where Shabandar is immediately taken with her and goes to all lengths to charm her. Harry's affection for Nicole is also growing and his jealousy of the two of them results in more than one embarrassing situations.

This flamboyant crime comedy is a remake of the 1966 Academy Award nominated film of the same name which starred Michael Caine ('The Dark Knight', 'Children of Men') and Shirley MacLaine ('The Apartment', 'Terms of Endearment'). Not only has this 2012 movie also got an all-star cast, it has been written by the multi-Oscar winning writing brothers Ethan Coen and Joel Coen ('No Country for Old Men', 'Fargo', 'True Grit') as well as being directed by Michael Hoffman ('One Fine Day', 'The Emperor's Club'). It's set for release in the UK on November 21st 2012.

Starring: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Cloris Leachman, Tom Courtenay, Togo Igawa, Anna Skellern

True Grit Review


Excellent
The Coen brothers return to the Charles Portis novel (rather than remaking the 1969 John Wayne movie) for this lean and riveting Western. It's a thoroughly involving story, with feisty characters and a wicked sense of humour.

Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) may be only 14 but she's determined to avenge the murder of her father by the outlaw Chaney (Brolin), who has fled into Indian territory. She tenaciously convinces gruff US Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) to take the case, rejecting the help of Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Damon), who's been hunting Chaney for months. She also refuses to sit back and wait, riding out with Cogburn to chase Chaney down. Sure, this is no undertaking for a young girl, but Mattie may have more true grit than everyone else combined.

Continue reading: True Grit Review

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen New York City, USA - New York Premiere of 'True Grit' at the Clearview Cinemas Ziegfeld Theater. Tuesday 14th December 2010

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

True Grit Trailer


True Grit is a 1968 Western book by author Charles Portis, Ethan & Joel Coen now lend the story and re-work it into a film adaptation. They are not the first directors to turn this book into a film as it was also attempted by Henry Hathaway in 1969 and starred John Wayne.

Continue: True Grit Trailer

A Serious Man Review


Essential
The Coen brothers take another sharp turn, catching us off-guard with this offbeat suburban drama that's not only a witty window into America's Jewish subculture, but also a potent exploration of the pressures of modern life.

In 1967 Minnesota, physics professor Larry Gopnik (Stuhlbarg) is struggling as squeezes in on him. His loser uncle (Kind) has taken up residence on the sofa, his wife (Lennick) has decided to run off with a local widower (Melamed), and his teen kids (Wolff and McManus) are constantly pestering him about trivialities. Meanwhile, he's waiting to hear if he'll be given tenure at work and facing some medical tests. To make sense of it all, he consults his lawyer (Arkin) and a series of rabbis (Helberg, Wyner and Mandell).

Continue reading: A Serious Man Review

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen - Ethan Coen, Joel Coen London, England - The Times BFI London Film Festival: 'A Serious Man' screening held at the Vue West End. Tuesday 27th October 2009

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Michael Stuhlbarg, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Michael Stuhlbarg, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Burn After Reading Review


Very Good
In 24 years, they've directed only 13 films, so it's not hard to assume that the Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) intend to make every one of them count. Of course, when they actually do, cinematic classics (Fargo, No Country for Old Men) usually result. But sometimes, the Coens simply want to play with the language of film, albeit to limited (Intolerable Cruelty) or unnecessary (their remake of The Ladykillers) effect. While not one of their masterpieces, Burn After Reading indicates that, even in the clichéd arena of affairs of the heart, the boys are capable of something subversive, and quite special.

When a disc filled with what appears to be sensitive government information ends up in the hands of two desperate health club employees, a blackmail plot is hatched. Seems personal trainer Linda (Frances McDormand) wants plastic surgery, convinced it will change her dating life, and airheaded co-worker Chad (Brad Pitt) thinks he's found a way to fund it. All they have to do is find the owner of the data and ask for cash.`What they don't know is that the statistics are not classified secrets, but financial figures stolen from CIA analyst Osborne Cox (John Malkovich). Lifted by his wife Katie (Tilda Swinton), it's part of a planned divorce. Once free, she can hook up with married boyfriend and tripwire Treasury agent Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney). He's a sex addict, and has several women on the side -- including Linda. Naturally, when Osborne finally discovers what is happening, he sets several deadly plots in motion.

Continue reading: Burn After Reading Review

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen - Joel Coen and Ethan Coen Wednesday 27th August 2008 at Venice Film Festival Venice, Italy

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Joel Coen, Brad Pitt and Tilda Swinton
Coen Brothers and Joel Coen

Ethan Coen Tuesday 22nd January 2008 attending the Opening Night After Party for Ethan Coen's Almost An Evening at the Atlantic Theatre Company.

Ethan Coen
Ethan Coen
Ethan Coen
Ethan Coen
Ethan Coen
Ethan Coen

No Country For Old Men Review


Excellent
The only good man to be found in Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men is a sheriff by the name of Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). Every morning he has bacon and black coffee with his eggs and he'll take any chance he can to ride horses with his wife in the canyons of California's border territory. In a jarring opening monologue, Bell says that to know the kind of evil going on these days would require a man to put "his soul at hazard" and to say "OK, I'll be part of this world." He doesn't find appeal in conceding to either.

Bell's troubles kick off when a deputy makes the fatal mistake of arresting a pale man with a terrible bowl cut, properly named Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Chigurh strangles the deputy while his flailing boots leave a trail of scuff marks on the jail floor. As he makes his way back to his meeting spot, Llewelyn Moss (a near-stoic Josh Brolin) has come upon a massacre of drug runners in the California canyons and prairies. He leaves the drugs but takes a bag full of money for his own. Within hours, he is sending his wife to live with her mother and plotting the best way to shake the trail of dead that is left in his wake. A cocky fixer (Woody Harrelson) makes nothing but a blip on Chigurh's radar as he rifles through hotels and hospitals to find his money and the man who has "inconvenienced" him.

Continue reading: No Country For Old Men Review

Ethan Coen, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Kelly MacDonald - Ethan Coen, Kelly Macdonald, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Joel Coen Frederick P. Rose Hall New York City, USA - Arrivals for NYFF "No Country For Old Men" Saturday 6th October 2007

Ethan Coen, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Kelly Macdonald
Ethan Coen
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Romance & Cigarettes Review


Weak
John Turturro's dream project Romance & Cigarettes is a gutter-style jukebox musical with chutzpah to spare and which doesn't know when to quit. It's all here: Singing garbagemen! Catfight in a SoHo lingerie store! Hot-to-trot Kate Winslet as a scorchingly foul-mouthed Irish hussy. Toe-tapping Christopher Walken in full strutting peacock mode, driving an old Detroit beater with a license plate reading "BoDiddley." A wife screaming at her husband, recently discovered cheating, "I trim your nose hair!" Family, infidelity, and a basketful of pop tunes for everyone to sing along to -- Ute Lemper to Connie Francis to Bruce Springsteen to James Brown to Tom Jones to....

Somewhere in all Turturro's chaos is a story about Nick Murder (James Gandolfini), a blue-collar schlub with a stolid wife, Kitty (Susan Sarandon), and a trio of slightly cracked daughters -- Constance, Baby, and Rosebud (Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, and Mandy Moore, respectively) -- who function partially as a junior set of Furies but are mostly there to bash out songs in the backyard as part of the three-piece bubblegum garage band they've formed. In short: Nick's a two-timing bastard who's stepping out on the wife with Tula (the previously mentioned Irish hussy), a fact Kitty doesn't take to overly well, and numerous friends and family get dragged into their scuffle and forcing everyone to occasionally bust out in song.

Continue reading: Romance & Cigarettes Review

Paris, Je T'aime Review


Good
One would like to think that there at least a few other cities in the world besides Paris that could have inspired a film as varied in the types of cinematic pleasure so ably delivered by the anthology piece Paris Je T'Aime -- but it seems unlikely. This isn't due to an unavailability of good stories or locations in many other great metropolises, but more because being able to dangle the possibility of shooting in Paris in front of the world's greatest directors is going to be so much more enticing. Also, there are few other cities besides Paris that come with such a powerful and multifarious wealth of preassociated images and emotions for both filmmaker and audience to both draw upon and react against. So what could have been a collection of short films with a few highs, several lows, and a lot of muddled in-betweens is in fact a remarkably and consistently imaginative body of work, practically giddy with energy, that only rarely touches the ground.

Project overseers Emmanuel Benbihy and Tristan Carné wanted to create a cinematic map of Paris, with each short film representing one of the city's 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods). They ended up with 18 films, none of them more than a few minutes long and directed by a glittering, international roster of filmmakers. While none of the films here are anything approaching masterpieces, hardly a one is in any way a chore to sit through, which has to be some sort of an accomplishment.

Continue reading: Paris, Je T'aime Review

The Naked Man Review


OK
Nothing makes you want to see a movie as much as a title like The Naked Man, does it? Feels like a vanity project: Michael Rapaport is Edward Blis, a chiropracter becomes a wrestler (clad in a leotard painted with the human anatomy, he's known as "the naked man") and later a sort of vigilante super-hero. Rapaport isn't terribly memorable, nor is the oddball script (co-written by Ethan Coen), but give it a whirl if only for Rachael Leigh Cook's leather-clad, hair-teased psycho-vixen, with love/hate tattooed across her breasts.

Intolerable Cruelty Review


Good
How can you not love the Coen brothers? The sibling creators of some of cinema's most classic films -- Fargo, Blood Simple, O Brother, Where Art Thou? -- are back at it, this time with their strangest production yet.

Oh, I don't mean strange as in Raising Arizona strange. I mean strange in that it's dearthly lacking the sophisticated humor we've come to expect from the duo. Strange in that it's so Hollywood-conventional as to make its existence puzzling at best, unnecessary at worst.

Continue reading: Intolerable Cruelty Review

The Big Lebowski Review


Very Good
It bears repeating: Just because you happen to make an amazing, perfectly-crafted, wildly funny movie (Fargo), doesn't mean you can do whatever the hell you want in your follow-up and pass it off as art.

The Big Lebowski is the definitive answer to skeptics like me who wondered if Fargo was the fluke, and sort-of-okay flicks like The Hudsucker Proxy were more the norm for the Coen brothers. They undoubtedly are. In The Big Lebowski, the Coens had the world to play with as a palette. What they delivered is a wreck.

Continue reading: The Big Lebowski Review

Miller's Crossing Review


Good
The Coen brothers went all Clockwork Orangey in their most violent but least ironic picture, Miller's Crossing. It's a relatively run of the mill gangster thriller, though oddly the film has found an intensely loyal audience. (Many even consider it to be the best of the Coens' films.) The story follows a Prohibition era crime boss's aide (Gabriel Byrne), who finds himself trying to keep the peace between his boss and a warring faction. He loves his boss's gal, too.

Continue reading: Miller's Crossing Review

Blood Simple Review


Extraordinary
The year is 1984. Reagan is looking forward to four more years as president. Orwell's book by the same name is at the top of the popularity bell curve. The Olympic games are held in Los Angeles and two unknown guys named Joel and Ethan Coen decide to team up and write a movie script. Their first step into the world of "Hollywood" is a little film called Blood Simple featuring the debut of then-unknown actress Frances McDormand. The title of the film comes from a slang term invented by Dashiell Hammett to suggest a murderer's state of fear and confusion, which suggests that the "perfect" murder is impossible. This movie shows one such example of that blood simple state.

At the time it was released, Blood Simple wowed critics and audiences, winning praise at film festivals all over the world with its unique look at telling an interesting and creepy story on a shoestring budget. Now 16 years later, the Coen brothers have decided to clean up their debut film and re-release it to the masses, making it even better.

Continue reading: Blood Simple Review

Fargo Review


Essential
The Coen brothers are back and in a big way. Bigger, as a matter of fact, than ever before, because with Fargo, the Coens have produced a masterpiece of a film that outclasses anything they've done yet--from Raising Arizona to Barton Fink to even Blood Simple, the movie that put them on the map. Fargo is perhaps the best movie to come down the pike since Pulp Fiction--so good that it earns my seldom-awarded five-star rating.

Fargo is one of those rare pictures about which I have nothing negative to say. Based on an allegedly true story (since debunked as fiction) that took place in North Dakota/Minnesota in 1987, Fargo is the instantly enthralling tale of the financially-troubled Jerry Lundergaard (William H. Macy), a plan to kidnap his wife (Kristin Rudrud), her wealthy father (Harve Presnell), the halfway-competent criminals who screw everything up (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare), and the pregnant cop who's on the case (Frances McDormand).

Continue reading: Fargo Review

The Ladykillers (2004) Review


OK
Joel and Ethan Coen's hot hands finally have cooled with their remake of The Ladykillers, and fans could probably see it coming. For starters, as mentioned, it's a remake - uncharted waters for two filmmakers best known for placing their unique fingerprints all over their unusual projects. Their vision ends up being a productive failure that's silly rather than sophisticated. We're engaged by its oddities, but never really entertained.

The original Ladykillers pitted Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, and their band of British crooks against a kindly old landlady in 1955. The Coens shift their action from England to the Deep South, where Tom Hanks wheezes and grins as a genteel criminal mastermind plotting to rob a Mississippi riverboat casino. He and his motley crew take up residence in the home of Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall), a churchgoing Bible Belter with a room to rent near the boat's dock. The men fool Munson into thinking they perform in a musical group, though they're forced to consider devious actions when the old lady discovers their criminal plans.

Continue reading: The Ladykillers (2004) Review

Raising Arizona Review


Extraordinary
It's said that two-thirds of Americans don't even bother to get a passport. While foreigners and Ivy Leaguers snicker over this as evidence of Americans' incuriosity about the world, I've always suspected that something else is at work. Even in an age when the whole country listens to the same radio stations, what makes America special is the spectacular and enduring diversity within its borders.

The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, get this. Like celluloid Micheners, their impressive body of work reaches deep into American settings, from post-war Hollywood to '50s New York, from late '80s Minnesota to early '90s Santa Monica. But it really hit its stride in Arizona.

Continue reading: Raising Arizona Review

The Man Who Wasn't There Review


OK
I was warned in advance about The Man Who Wasn't There, having been told it was "definitely a Coen brothers movie." Indeed, there's no better description for this film aside from that vague insult.

Shot in black and white as an homage to film noir, The Man Who Wasn't There (no relation to the Steve Guttenberg movie of the same name) tells the tale of Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton, sporting a veritable work of art on his head as a toupee), a mild mannered, chain-smoking barber in sleepy 1940s Santa Rosa, California. As Ed's life consists of cutting the same heads of hair day in and day out, he can be forgiven for a little dissatisfaction with his life.

Continue reading: The Man Who Wasn't There Review

O Brother, Where Art Thou? Review


Excellent
Maverick movie directors eventually become domesticated. Don't believe me? The same guy who directed The Conversation also directed Jack. The man behind The French Connection helmed Blue Chips.

Whether it's through common sense, clean living, or skill, Joel and Ethan Coen have avoided a creative snag. After some 20 years, their movies are still original, intelligent. and funny without being aloof. Their latest effort, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, is no exception. Based on Homer's epic, The Odyssey, and set in Depression-era Mississippi, the brothers have done the unthinkable: They've taken classic literature and made it fun.

Continue reading: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Review

Barton Fink Review


Extraordinary
That "Barton Fink feeling" is all over the Coen brothers movie, a modern classic that both celebrates and damns the Golden Age of Hollywood. One of the Coens' most play-like movies, John Turturro stars in a career-making role as an angst-ridden supporter of the common man, a playwright who makes it big in New York and then sells out to L.A., where he is promptly interred in a seedy hotel to write a wrestling movie. There he meets a friendly but slightly off-kilter insurance salesman (John Goodman) and his hero, an old time writer (John Mahoney). Nothing turns out as it seems, and the surreal finale to the film elevate the movie to being one of the Coens' best.

The Hudsucker Proxy Review


Excellent

Uber-quirky but strangely satisfying Coen escapade, skewering the world of big business (at least as it existed in the 1950s), as a company schemes to drive the price of the stock down by installing an imbecile (Tim Robbins) as president. This isn't Fargo, not by a longshot, but it's not meant to be. This is one of those fun little flicks that really, really grows on you, featuring amazing performances by Robbins, Paul Newman, and Charles Durning, and even a memorable (if rote) appearance by Jennifer Jason Leigh. But what really sticks with you is the ultra-clever dialogue... "You know, for kids!"

Ethan Coen

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Ethan Coen Movies

Suburbicon Movie Review

Suburbicon Movie Review

This film feels kind of like what you'd expect from a collision between George Clooney...

Hail, Caesar! Movie Review

Hail, Caesar! Movie Review

An intelligent ode to a time when Hollywood made wildly inventive movies without pressure from...

Hail, Caesar! Trailer

Hail, Caesar! Trailer

Ever since his wonderful appearance in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, we've been waiting...

Bridge of Spies Movie Review

Bridge of Spies Movie Review

Steven Spielberg takes on the Cold War with a stately, sentimental thriller that gurgles along...

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Hail, Caesar! Trailer

Hail, Caesar! Trailer

Eddie Mannix is a fixer who works in Hollywood where he tames celebrities and keeps...

Unbroken Movie Review

Unbroken Movie Review

With a true story that's almost hard to believe, this inspiring biographical drama is made...

Inside Llewyn Davis Movie Review

Inside Llewyn Davis Movie Review

The Coen brothers have a wry twinkle in their eyes as they take us on...

Inside Llewyn Davis Trailer

Inside Llewyn Davis Trailer

Llewyn Davis is a struggling folk musician attempting to find his place in the world...

Gambit Movie Review

Gambit Movie Review

Remade from a 1966 romp starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine, this con artist action-comedy...

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Gambit Trailer

Gambit Trailer

Harry Deane is a pretty hopeless British art curator who has suffered years of condescension...

True Grit Movie Review

True Grit Movie Review

The Coen brothers return to the Charles Portis novel (rather than remaking the 1969 John...

True Grit Trailer

True Grit Trailer

True Grit is a 1968 Western book by author Charles Portis, Ethan & Joel Coen...

A Serious Man Movie Review

A Serious Man Movie Review

The Coen brothers take another sharp turn, catching us off-guard with this offbeat suburban drama...

Burn After Reading Movie Review

Burn After Reading Movie Review

In 24 years, they've directed only 13 films, so it's not hard to assume that...

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