Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom/France/USA, 2000. Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Mike Zoss Productions. Screenplay by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, based on the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer. Cinematography by Roger Deakins. Produced by Ethan Coen. Music by T Bone Burnett. Production Design by Dennis Gassner. Costume Design by Mary Zophres. Film Editing by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Tricia Cooke.
Set in the rural American south of the thirties, but still retaining the main events from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey upon which it is based, the Coen Brothers use authentic bluegrass music and Roger Deakins’ golden-hued photography to tell the story of three convicts who escape jail and are on a cross-country journey to get home. The group leader, Ulysses (a brilliant turn by George Clooney) wants to get back to his wife Penelope (Holly Hunter). The other two members of the team (John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson) are looking for their futures. In between, Ulysses battles an evil one-eyed con-artist (the Cyclops, played by John Goodman), deals with three mysterious women (the Sirens) washing their clothing by the river and singing a beautiful lullaby, and gets baptized by a church group going to the river (the Lotus Eaters) and never once misses out on the opportunity to prove that he’s “BonAFide!” Hilarious and exciting, ripe with great performances and just the right amount of quirky direction you expect from this brilliant team.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
European Film Award Nomination: Screen International Award
Golden Globe Award: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (George Clooney)
Nomination: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy