Tonight’s feature: Intolerable Cruelty
Ugh, no. A mess of infuriating film clichés: the she-devil, enemies falling in love for no reason, L.A. is full of nightmare people (which, to be fair, it is, but at this point in history that’s an incredibly boring basis on which to build characters and stories and smacks of the film industry’s obsession with itself. WE GET IT. YOU HATE YOURSELVES AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU. It’s so fucking cynical and mean-spirited, it makes me crazy.). There are some bright points, though: George Clooney is very good. You can see him becoming a better actor, even inside a disappointing film. Billy Bob Thornton’s character is hilarious. Wrigley. The scenes with Myerson are a welcome oasis of trademark Coen weirdness, echoing Hudsucker and Barton Fink.
Maybe my perspective is skewed from being up to my eyeballs in the Coens’ work for the past three weeks, but the whole thing seems…muddied, diluted. Confused about what it is or thinks it is. Four screenwriters and eight producers: maybe a case of too many cooks in the kitchen? It’s kind of heartbreaking to watch the good ideas struggling, sometimes succeeding but mostly failing, to get out from under that flat, white Hollywood sun.