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The Coens have done it again

This weekend, in our latest attempt to avoid our horrific neighbors, we decided to go see a movie. As many of my friends know, I am a huge fan of the Coen brothers' movies, and when I heard about Burn After Reading, I got the impression that it was going to be the sort of Coen brothers film I really like. And I was right.

It seems like most guys my age go for The Big Lebowski as their favorite. And while I am indeed glad to know that The Dude is out there, takin'er easy for all us sinners, I enjoy their darker, harder to define films more. My favorite is still Fargo, with The Hudsucker Proxy coming in a close second. And I do believe that Burn After Reading has now secured the number three spot.

There's a scene between John Malkovich and Brad Pitt that simply has to be seen to be understood. George Clooney's character loses his mind on-screen in such a perfect way that you forget it's normally supercool George Clooney doing it. Frances McDormand kicks all kinds of ass, in a low-self-esteem-but-determined-to-get-what-she-wants kind of way. And the incomparable J.K. Simmons, whom you know as the boss of both Peter Parker and Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson, sums up the storyline of the movie in one moment: He shakes his head, sighs, and mutters, "What a clusterfuck."

But it's a fantastic clusterfuck, the sort of clusterfuck we've come to expect and adore from the Coens. This movie doesn't take itself, its characters, or its subject matter seriously, but it's so earnest that you can't really call it a comedy. And while you laugh, several times, it's an uncomfortable laugh, a laugh of recognition of the ugly truth. That laugh is the reason I see the Coen brothers' films, and it's the reason you should go see Burn After Reading.
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I might see this tonight. I wanna see it mainly for J.K. Simmons. I totally <3 him. :)