Intolerable Cruelty

Intolerable Cruelty ★★★½

Snappy dialogue with a great, slick, slimily affable George Clooney. It's 'lower tier' Coens only by comparison, and even then it still feels unfair to call it that; INTOLERABLE CRUELTY is certifiably good, and just as zanily convoluted as their greater comedies, perhaps lacking only in the dynamism of character, and being a bit more subdued tonally. Though, it's possible that sense of INTOLERABLE CRUELTY missing something is generated by the presence of two other writers (Robert Ramsay and Matthew Stone) working on the screenplay, in addition to the Coens...less is more, after all. I also really liked Carter Burwell's music in this, as well as Catherine Zeta-Jones' work. Plus, the elderly marital lawyer/oracle sage is probably the most Greek-referential element here if you were looking for filmography-running motifs, but I also got serious Darth Vader and Palpatine vibes from him and that noir-ish room complete with blinds and running IVs...Are there really any bad Coen films? At this rate, I doubt it.