Continuing my countdown of every Coen Brothers movie…
#2. Miller’s Crossing (1990)
(down one spot from previous ranking)
I think it was the Coen Brothers’ third film, 1990’s Miller’s Crossing, that cemented them as my favorite filmmakers. I was a college freshman, interested in film as a career, when I sat in the theater and let this gorgeous, funny, dark, poetic film wash over me.
That same fall, Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas came out. I’m not sure which I saw first, but I remember being amazed at how such completely different gangster films could both work so well. A couple of years later, I wrote a paper on mob movies for a film class, focusing on those two extraordinary achievements.
Best Movies of the 2010s
#2 – Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
My second favorite film by my favorite filmmakers had to be near the top of this list, right?
The Coen Brothers had an excellent decade, starting with True Grit in 2010 and culminating with 2016’s Hail, Caesar! and 2018’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (which appeared earlier on this list, putting them next to Greta Gerwig as the only directors to show up twice).
But their bona fide masterpiece of the 2010’s was Inside Llewyn Davis, a melancholy ode to a struggling folk singer in early-60s Greenwich Village.
Beyoncé aside, I did a pretty good job of avoiding any late-year surprises in the music world. But just last week I had one of my most sublime musical experiences of the year in a movie theater.
Recently I was asked, during a business meeting of all things, for the name of my favorite filmmaker. That’s the kind of question a guy like me needs a week and a series of spreadsheets to answer, but that wasn’t an option. I had to go with my gut, and my gut said “The Coen Brothers.”
I suspect a week and a series of spreadsheets would have arrived at the same conclusion.