Film Fest Friday: Burn After Reading


The latest film from the celebrated directorial duo of Joel and Ethan Cohen got great reviews, but I thought the previews looked awful. Then, Coocatchoo and Bee Cee saw it in the theater and came home completely bummed when they did not “get it.” So I didn’t go into this viewing with high hopes. Well, I did in that Fargo and The Big Lebowski are two of my all-time favorite films, and I wanted the Cohen Brothers to wow me again. But I was not going to be too surprised if it didn’t happen.

While watching, I could totally understand why you might be confused and think you were not understanding why everyone else was laughing, when the characters are all either being murdered and/or leading desperately sad lives. But it’s a farce, and it’s hysterical when you stop to ponder just how ridiculous the whole thing is. And so is each and every thing that happens along the way.

I’m typically not a huge fan of Brad Pitt and George Clooney’s choices of movies. I was pleasantly surprised at both of their performances here. I might say, though, playing an airhead seemed to be just a little too easy for Brad. Maybe it’s just that even mediocre actors can be made to shine when surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast that includes greats like Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Tilda Swinton.

This is a must-see! If you find yourself wondering why it’s supposed to be so great, just remember — it’s meant to be funny.



  1. grantmasterflash said,

    January 24, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I was told by the person that saw this movie with me that I frequently exhibit the exact same frustration with mankind as Malkovich in the scene (probably my favorite in this movie) where he says “You’re part of a league of morons I’ve been battling my entire life.” I think this movie probably isn’t far off the mark on how bumbling and inept our “intelligence” services are in this country. I know that much of their idiocy is very much on display at a certain bureaucratic corporation that currently employs me.

    • meggitymegs said,

      February 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm

      Speaking of your bureaucratic corporation, I hope you are able to avoid any layoffs. One of my favorite parts of the movie was the depiction of our “intelligence” organizations. After all, it’s a bureaucracy just like everything else. Only now they’re sitting at call-log screens, giggling about cellular phone sex.

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