The 10 Best Coen Brother Movies

10) The Hudsucker Proxy

The Hudsucker Proxy

There may be no greater example of a litmus test for whether a person is willing to buy into this whole Coen brothers oeuvre than their 1994 film, The Hudsucker Proxy. A number of elements are in place that have the potential for turning audiences off: a general sense of homage to classical Hollywood cinema, a rhythm that is manic to the point of irritating, a dopey protagonist whose perspective is mediated by a series of gimmicky voiceovers and magical interventions, and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Katharine Hepburn tribute of a character that I understand annoys a high percentage of people who have seen this movie.

I, however, find it irresistible, at least I do now—I watched many Coen brothers movies in high school, and have revisited them in the years since their mid-2000s renaissance, and find them vastly more enjoyable. I can’t say whether it’s a personal thing, whether their material speaks more to the current moment in cinema, or whether their humor and tone takes a while to get used to. What I do know is that where Tim Robbins’ character used to be eye-roll-inducing, I now find him delightfully absurd, and the rest of the film a gorgeous and playful satire of the increasingly cynical corporate world.

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