The Ladykillers

Dan Goldwasser Movie Reviews

Went to see the latest Coen Brother’s film tonight with Adam, The Ladykillers. A remake of the original Alec Guinness film, this was ultimately a mixed film, but was entertaining enough through the characters to make me recommend it. There’s just something about the way the Coen Brothers write for characters. Sometimes they’re just so fascinating to watch, and you can’t help but want to see more. Enter Tom Hanks. His portrayal of Professor G.H. Dorr is so fascinating – I love seeing actors transform themselves, and honestly, it’s about time Hanks returned to the comedy scene. Irma P. Hall does a delightful job as Marva Munson, the old lady who rents a room to Hanks believing him to be a “quiet… and yet, not quiet” man who wants to practice his “church music” in the root cellar with his friends. What she doesn’t realize, until later, is that these “musicians” are actually involved in a seedy crime to dig through the earthen walls of the root cellar and rob the floating casino down the hill.

The plot is rather simple, and so most of the scenes focus on the characters. But there’s not much development, which means we end up getting a tad restless – because while it’s fun to watch these characters interact, you still need to move the story forward. The music, by Carter Burwell, is supplemented rather heavily with a lot of source songs (picked by T Bone Burnett) and as such, the film has a very O Brother Where Art Thou? vibe, but in a more modern setting. You might not feel inclined to see it in theaters, but this one’s worth checking out, probably on video.