Went to the cinema last night for the first time in weeks. We’ve been giving over all our screen time to
The Wire. Chose to see Burn After Reading. I’m a fan of the Cohen brothers but didn’t go with huge hopes as the reviews seemed to be divided down the middle.
As it happened I liked it a lot, it’s a cracking little film, a carefully crafted and deftly rendered black comedy. It has an adventurous approach to narrative, not so much the by now familiar interweaving of the lives of seemingly disconnected characters but the way in which it sets off looking like traditional story telling with characters and situation introduced only for them to be abandoned for what seems like an age while other characters and a seemingly unrelated story line is set up on its own terms. This makes the final resolution very satisfying. It also has the single most shocking moment I’ve seen in a film since the underwater head in the boat in Jaws. I just didn’t see it coming – any more than I thought Brad Pitt could be funny.
OK it’s not No Country for Old Men; it’s much less ambitious, more circumscribed but none the worse for that. Definitely a Cohen hit.