December 31, 2012

Reassessing Hudsucker

With The Hudsucker Proxy, the Coen brothers lost Warner Bros. a fortune. The film grossed less than $3 million and earned mixed to negative reviews. The world, it seems, wasn’t hungering for a cynical deconstruction of a genre that had been absent from screens for decades, even one delivered with such wit and retro-modern beauty. There are few things in the world I hold in higher esteem than the films of Sturges, Capra, and Wilder, yet I very much enjoyed watching the Coen brothers make gleeful comic sport of their oeuvre and sensibilities. Maybe that’s because it’s done with such affection. Or maybe it’s because the films the Coens referencing were often secretly caustic and cynical themselves. 



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