Sunday, 26 October 2008

Burn after Reading

To see Burn after Reading, the latest offering from the Coen Brothers, at Bristol's indulgent new cinema complex at the city's Cabot Circus centre last night. I have long been a fan of the Coen Brothers, but aside from No Country for Old Men, have found some of their recent offerings to be distinctly below par. This is a cracking return to form. As ever, the plot is zany, inpenetrable and inconsequential, involving a forcibly retired CIA operative (with John Malkovich perfect in the role), his steely wife (Tilda Swinton), her affair with another government figure with a less clear role (George Clooney in best Cary Grant mode) who has a fling with a gym worker (the wonderful Frances McDormand) who discovers the CIA operative's memoirs on disc with her immature co-worker (Brad Pitt) and who then embarks on an attempt at extortion, to the bemusement of the CIA chief (the ubiquitous but underrated JK Simmons). What ensues is an hilarious, sometimes shocking, series of events in a film that is almost as good as O Brother Where Art Thou or Fargo. Do see it.

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