Wow, what an absolutely tough question. If you had to pick one Coen Bros. movie and call it their best, or your favorite, which would you choose? That’s what Salon asked of directors, critics, and other insiders recently. Here’s the article.
The submitters all make good explanations for their ultimate choices, but it’s apparent that they arrived at those choices after a lot of excruciating deliberation.
I myself am torn in 4 different directions, and I haven’t even seen A Serious Man, which looks delicious. But. Although each and every one of their films wins thoroughly in the acting, writing, and art direction departments, one stands just a couple of inches above the rest. So while my heart will always leap with joy whenever I catch Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, or Raising Arizona (or any others, for that matter) playing somewhere, my brain just can’t get enough of No Country For Old Men.
I absolutely love the static, dialog-free segments, the weight of the darkness, the endless progression of motels and hotels. Even though they snubbed the hitchhiker part from the excellent book by Cormac McCarthy, they also added their own cinemagic that towers over the whole story. Absolutely brilliant casting in every role, and although I initially frowned on the strange way it ended, I read the book and decided it was always going to end that way. Kudos.