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O Brother, Where Art Thou? Review

Updated on January 1, 2016

Movie Poster


Successful Portrayal of Humor in Storycraft

The Coen brothers can do no wrong. They write, direct and produce quality movies that bring a sharp wit and edge to the American story. To list just a few: Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men.

The film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is so great on so many levels, that you're going need to sit down a minute to find out why. Just like listening to an old storyteller, you need to hear the tale. What I love about this movie is how it captures the grace and dignity that even the most downtrodden carry inside.

1 Storytelling

This is a tale of three run-away prisoners on a quest for freedom and treasure in a country that's going through hard times. Along the way they meet a guitar player and form a band that helps them sidestep troubles with the law.

2 Classical reference

This story loosely references Homer's The Odyssey. For example, characters you run into are the Blind Seer, the Cyclops and the Sirens. The lead character's first name is Ulysses Everett. He's a guy who carries a penchant for long talk and oration.

3 True to life

This film has real situations that were broiling in the South during the depression era.

4 Scriptwriting

The writing carries light touches of character idiosyncrasies. They speak in that turn of dialog that gets you laughing the first time and appreciating it even more the second time. There are priceless lines throughout. Look up some quotes from the movie and enjoy.

5 Great actors.

I got the greatest respect for George Clooney after seeing him in this movie. Apparently, he not only plays handsome leads, he can be a quirky character getting into all kinds of scrapes and carry it extremely well. Others: John Turturro, John Goodman, Holly Hunter.

What I really enjoy is the combination of situations mixed with the mythical, the superstition, the prejudice and the plight of The Everyman's human condition. It never gets bogged down, the sometimes light-hearted antics of the three runaway prisoners keeps you engaged and rooting for them.

The final gem is the music, all handpicked mostly from this era.

The key to this film is you don't have to be a fan of Ulysses or depression era stories or old-timey folk music. You can just enjoy the ride!

Reviewed by author. All rights reserved.

O' Brother, Where Art Thou? - Movie

O' Brother, Where Art Thou - Soundtrack

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The Soundtrack, one gem after another. I listen to this in the car regularly.


Soggy Bottom Boys

Soggy Bottom Boys


We thought you was a toad.

The Blind Seer Scene

What is your favorite part of the movie or favorite quote?

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    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 3 years ago

      @CamelliaPenny: I totally agree with everything you said. :) I can see how the screenwriting would be studied. So well done, so clever. I love the choice of songs too. Thank you so much for stopping by.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 3 years ago from South Carolina

      "Them sirenes loved him up and turned him into a horny toad!" "She up and r-u-n-n-o-f-t." "I said my piece and counted to three." "Lots of respectable people been hit by trains." Oh, there are too many good quotes! I love this movie - it is in my top 3 favorites of all time. I love the religious themes that quietly run through it, as well. You are right about the Coen Brothers, too - brilliant, they are. "Ladykillers" is another great one, if you can stomach all the bad language. I was an English Lit/Creative Writing major and Coen Brothers' movies are always an intellectual feast for me.

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 3 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" is one of my favorite songs, and I have it on one of my YouTube playlists. Great movie that I watch whenever it is on TV.

    • Joebeducci profile image

      Joebeducci 4 years ago

      The Coen-brothers really made an awesome movie again, I loved it! Greets, Joebeducci

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @LoriBeninger: I love that story, I didn't know who sang it! Critics thought Clooney's lip syncing was very good as well.

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @lollyj lm: I so agree. Thank you for stopping by.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      A member of Alison Krauss's back-up band, Union Station, was George Clooney's musical voice for this film. Evidently when the band member's wife saw the film, she told her husband that her dream had come true: her husband's voice coming out of George Clooney's mouth. I thought that was hilarious. Great review of a great movie. Thank you.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 4 years ago from Washington KS

      This is one we watch whenever it's on TV. Movie perfection.

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: One of my favorites. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. :)

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Saw it - loved it! Such fun!