Harry Knowles and his fellow movie freaks over at Ain’t It Cool News link to the trailer for the Coen Brothers‘ latest, a remake of The Ladykillers. (The 1955 version was directed by Alexander Mackendrick, probably best known for The Sweet Smell of Success, a film that should be required viewing for all media and gossip bloggers.)
It looks amusing, more in keeping with their ‘impossible caper’ flicks than their recent foray into Brian Grazer country, Intolerable Cruelty. (I can think of one thing right about that title.) It looks like it has the broad slapstick of Raising Arizona, but it also appears to have that film’s late period Fellini-ish love of laughing at odd looking people. Which is sad, since the Coen’s have moved on from that with beautifully-shot period pieces like The Man Who Wasn’t There, creepy ‘comedies’ like Fargo, and groovy hodgepodges like The Big Lebowski. (The latter of which, scene-for-scene, is still one of the best movies of the last decade and even more relevant since the capture of Saddam Hussein.)
Sure, O, Brother, Where Art Thou? had its share of mugging and hillbilly teeth jokes, but shot, as it was, to look like a sepia-toned screen gem, you kinda accepted the insensitivity of its humor as part of its period charm.
It looks like the cast of Ladykillers had a ball. Tom Hanks looks more at ease in a comedy than he’s been since, maybe, Splash. Marlon Wayans (who appears to have brought his same hairstyle and facial gestures from Scary Movie 1 and 2) looks funny. The character names alone make it worth the price of admission: Hanks plays a charming scoundrel named Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr (!) and Wayans is (Sir?) Gawain McSam (!!). I just hope the racial and cultural stereotypes featured prominently in the trailer aren’t as unbearable in the film: no one wants to see the Coens do Big Momma’s House.
So, I’m crossing my fingers for the best, and holding my breath until March 26.