‘O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?’

Let's Review Cinema

(NEWS10) – This week, let us take a look back at the Coen Brothers movie, ‘O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?’. This riveting film was released back in the year 2000, directed by Joel Coen, produced by Ethan Coen, and written by both of them.

‘O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?’ is an adventure, crime, and comedy that’s loosely based on the Greek Epic “The Odyssey” by Homer. This movie screenplay has the same quirkiness that is uniquely a Coen Brothers staple.

Like many independent filmmakers from the 90’s, they have a very distinct dialogue style. For example, ‘The Big Lebowski‘ (another Coen Brothers film) even had rehearsals just so the dialogue sounded as organic as possible, which was quite uncommon for the time.

One of the biggest reasons why their unique style works so well in this movie is the fact that they often use the same list of actors in all of their productions. John Goodman, John Turturro, and Holly Hunter had worked on at least two Coen brothers movies by this point. First timer George Clooney does a fantastic job playing an over the top criminal from the 1930’s.

This movie may not have worked as seamlessly without the brilliant cinematographer Roger Deakins. The cinematography really draws the audience into the world that was being created. They wanted the movie to look dusty and dry. Roger Deakins said that it had “the look of an old picture book”, which is part of what they were going for. The Coen brothers digitized the natural colors that were shot and manipulated them. This process was a new technology at the time and still holds up today.

The part of this movie that stands the test of time is its soundtrack. It’s really a love letter to roots music like bluegrass and folk. A roots music revival started around the time of this movie’s release and had a big impact on the music industry moving forward. Marcus Mumford has said that one of the reasons he fell in love with roots music is because of watching ‘O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?’. The soundtrack alone sold more than five million copies and won five Grammys. It was number one on the Billboard Album charts back in 2002 for 63 weeks after the soundtrack’s release and then for a year after the movie’s release.

‘O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?’ is available on DVD, blu-ray, and digital download.

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