Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Intolerable Cruelty really very very good. The whole idea of a Coen Brothers rom com is startling - and yeah, rightly so.

It's both a transcendence and a send-up. It uses so many of the tropes of a standard mainstram flick, but with a little sour spin.

The biggest, cleanest, dourest of all is the use of the Sudden Public Speech + Applause. It's a standard cinematic device: if stuck for closure, introduce a spurious gathering of the people in a public meeting cum courtroom. The otherwise charmingly unsettling In & Out is a classic example - all of a sudden, Kevin Kline is making a public speech about The Gay, gets a standing ovation, and the film soars off the rails.

Same thing happens here with George Clooney - but in a very dour, Coen way. Well done them.

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