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Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
They can't keep their hands off each others assets.
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

A revenge-seeking gold digger marries a womanizing Beverly Hills lawyer with the intention of making a killing in the divorce.

Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

Acting Out Trains

I celebrate the Coens. I like how they try to surround the craft by doing projects of different kinds. It seems only Woody and these brothers like to walk on the edge of the universe to see how big it is.

So even a minor comedy is welcome. But I think this is their least successful film. (“The Big Lebowski” is their best in my estimation.) It is because they made a mistake in casting and this genre requires a force he lacks. Clooney is valuable for his “wink with me while I play this guy” acting style. Soderbergh knows how to use this. For all their skills, the Coens never learned how to adapt a film once started, to make up for the places near the edges where the crayon cannot reach from the edge of the world.

The story arc has to be simple for this form; all the magic is in the colors, the subtle nuances. The Coens never really spend time on genre reproduction for its own sake. They do it so they can deviate from it in small, modern ways. I’m surprised to say that Patapiller Jones does a really fine job. It is just a tone that Clooney doesn’t have.

Posted in 2008

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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