Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Burn After Reading

Movie name: Burn After Reading
Year of release: 2008
Director: Joel & Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins, JK Simmons, David Rasche, Olek Krupa, Jeffrey DeMunn
Genre: Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Synopsis:After the huge success of "No Country for Old Men", the Coen brothers have gone back to their subversive comedy territory and have delivered "Burn After Reading". The film follows Osborne Cox, an analyst that works for the Secret Services. When Cox is reassigned, he decides to quit and write his memoirs, much to the chagrin of his wife (who is having an affair with the buffoon Harry Pfarrer). The CD with his writings somehow ends up in the ladies locker room of a gym, where dimwitted Chad Feldheimer and plastic surgery-obsessive Linda Litzke both work. They decide to blackmail Cox for money in order for Linda to get the money she needs to have the plastic surgery. This short summary just serves to show how all these characters come together in this tale that aims to be a criticism of how some institutions work and how diplomacy and ineptitude dominate. Sadly the Coens don't really go deep in their satire, and by the time the film comes to an end, you end up feeling that so much more could and should have been said. The corrosive sense of humor of Billy Wilder is sadly missed. The film ends up being a showcase for a group of talented actors, particularly the wonderful Frances McDormand and the always great John Malkovich.