Few filmmakers live up to expectations quite as steadily as the Coen Brothers. Even when their films aren’t masterpieces, they’re still the best movie you’ll see that year. Such is the case with their newest, Inside Llewyn Davis, which follows a bristly Dave Van Ronk-esque character in the New York folk movement. All of the classic Coen traits are there: surreal journeys, unforgettable visuals, excellent dialogue between fully realized characters, and the ability to maintain a healthy sense of humor while taking the craft very seriously.
Credit: Andrew Eccles/JBG Photo
In honor of the Coens’ latest triumph, Cambridge’s Brattle Theatre will be hosting a complete retrospective of the directing duo’s life in films. While you will most certainly find known crowd-pleasers The Big Lebowski (Dec. 19), Fargo (Dec. 11) and Raising Arizona (Dec. 10), you’d be well advised to take full advantage of the Brattle’s seasonally appropriate generosity by catching some deep Coen cuts like their directorial debut Blood Simple (Dec. 9), not to mention a double feature that pairs gangster classic (and unfortunate box office failure) Miller’s Crossing with the Brothers’ love letter to neo-noir, The Man Who Wasn’t There. We can say with almost complete certitude that you probably missed their two most straightforward screwball fares The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty, so if you’re in the market for some unexpected chuckles, check out that pairing on December 17.
But let’s say you’re brand new to the Coens and have no idea where to begin. We’re here to help. Our recommended slate for newcomers is to catch delightful mindfuck and Palm d’Or winner Barton Fink on December 12, Western-flavored Oscar favorites True Grit paired and No Country for Old Men on December 15, and later-period but little-seen gems A Serious Man and Burn After Reading on December 18. And don’t forget to catch Inside Llewyn Davis when it comes to Boston on December 20. Perhaps the Brattle should consider renting cots for the duration.
MONDAY 12.9.13-THU 12.19.13
THE BRATTLE THEATRE
40 BRATTLE ST.,