This was not great cinema, but it was solidly good. The Coens feel a bit like Murakami when you watch a number of their works in succession: you start to recognize all of their characters as archetype (the cheating femme fatale, the powerless man who turns to crime, the bumbler, and so on) but you can find deep appreciation in the repetition and execution. Here in particular there are two things: the cinematography, stark and excellent (the black and white feels earned and not gimmicky), and Thorton's steely performance, in many ways what feels like an ideological prelude to his work in the first season of Fargo.


Lightning bolt
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