“I’m only watching.”. An alternate take is that “The Mortal Remains” is actually about Lady (Tyne Daly), who has the only backstory specifically placing her in a stagecoach (she was traveling to meet her husband). Into a rather goofy singing-cowboy vignette, the title story, starring Tim Blake Nelson as a man in a white hat who addresses the viewer most cheerfully before he begins blowing holes in any number of dirtier men who won’t cooperate with him. ), "We thought: This character dies in this story, that one dies in that story," the director said. He has written for a host of other publications and resides in Brooklyn. ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Applying a poultice of wet leaves and urine. 10. A rose is a flower. I appreciate the detail and depth the Coen brothers put into storytelling. (TLDR at the end.) FanTheory spoiler **Spoilers Almost Immediately** First ever post, created an account for this idea, looked online and hadn’t seen anyone else discuss it yet.

When watching the film the first time, Scruggs kicking the board on the poker table to wackily kill his opponent seems to come out of nowhere. But while you may be tempted to jump ahead or skip around, the way you might for a season of, say, Black Mirror, don't. Movies require too much money and effort to predicate them merely on pranking people you don’t like. Yes, that's right. All Native American characters are one-dimensional, scalping savages, faceless extras in a white man or woman's story. It begins with an unlikely group of travelers in a stagecoach: A pious, snotty woman (Tyne Daly); a libidinous trapper (Chelcie Ross); and a gambling Frenchman (Saul Rubinek). Entertainment Weekly is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation All Rights Reserved. “Why would they want to ennoble Eddie Mannix,” he asked, and I said that, clearly, the movie wasn’t intended as any kind of portrait of the real Eddie Mannix, and that they probably just liked the name. The dog’s first owner (Jefferson Mays) dies suddenly and inexplicably. Though initially there were whispers that the Coens were working on a series for the streaming service, they now maintain it was always a little more confusing than that. A sparrow is a bird. In the movie’s final story, “The Mortal Remains,” one of a pair of bounty hunters, played by Jonjo O’Neill, tells his fellow passengers in a stagecoach of how, after his partner (Brendan Gleeson) has “thumped” one of their victims, he enjoys looking into that man’s eyes and watching as he negotiates the border between life and death, trying to find a state to which he can be reconciled. 2. Upon rewatch, Nelson slyly eyes the slightly uneven board on the table when chatting with Curly Joe (Clancy Brown) before he stands up, in one of the most subtle bits of acting in the film.

Jonjo O'Neill and Brendan Gleeson in 'The Mortal Remains', Tim Blake Nelson in 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs'. All the bits have merits, and most have some nagging flaws -- the presence of James Franco is unfortunate, for instance. With Tim Blake Nelson, Willie Watson, Clancy Brown, Danny McCarthy. The actor who so heartbreakingly plays the doomed Artist (Harry Melling) in “Meal Ticket” is the same actor who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter movies, in a rather dramatic physical and character transformation. It’s hard to pin down the brothers’ new film, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” an anthology film that presents itself as a literal story book, first edition 1873. Theory about a character in "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" w/tldr.

I suspect this is wrong, and that this hardworking American Dream fantasy is about perseverance and survival and the disruptiveness of man in nature — that The Prospector overcomes death is enough to keep this entry thematically consistent with the rest.

A popular choice (based on conversations I've had) has been "All Gold Canyon," with Tom Waits as an ornery but determined miner. There’s a lot of killing in this movie, and many of those who suffer it are depicted lying down, with their eyes open, looking at the sky.

6. One fan theory is The Prospector actually died after he was shot by the wannabe thief. Below are 14 … Scruggs riffs on traditions, starting in winking fashion before growing steadily more grim. The former is from Stewart Edward White and was changed dramatically. Entertainment Weekly may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. The next story, starring James Franco as an ill-fated bank robber, leads up to a punchline that’s one of the funniest in the Coen canon. The movies of Joel and Ethan Coen inspire an almost fanatical urge among film fans to start arguing.

The idea is she’s alive in the first half of the story, then dies during her choking distress after being goaded by The Frenchman (Saul Rubinek). The format presents some confusion. As the sun sets, the coach is shrouded in an ominous dark blue that brings with it an unmistakable sense of dread. Ultimately, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs delivers no overarching theory about what happens when we die, but it's certain that we all do, and it often ain't pretty.

What’s most bewitching throughout “Scruggs” is its sense of detail. Some are more in the realm of evidence-based speculation (Things That Probably Mean Something). Every story in the film is about death, and all the other main protagonists in the movie die (including in the final segment, which we’ll get to in a moment). In “All Gold Canyon,” inspired by a Jack London story, Tom Waits—who fits so well into Coen World that it’s kind of a shock to realize this is his first picture with the filmmakers—plays a prospector for whom process seems more fulfilling than the accumulation of wealth. On the other hand, I had a conversation last fall with a great film scholar and critic who rather famously dislikes the Coens' work, and he was taking issue with the naming of the main character and ostensible hero of “Hail Caesar.” Josh Brolin’s good guy “Eddie Mannix” was named for a real-life character who was in fact a rather bad guy, an MGM-employed “fixer” who covered up major crimes by film figures and bullied potentially rebellious stars into doing the studio’s will. Anyway. The coachman, shrouded in black, doesn't stop -- that is, until he gets to their lodging for the night.

During a post-screening Q&A after the New York Film Festival Premiere, Ethan explained that they weren't consciously thinking about about the themes of mortality until they were writing the final segment, "The Mortal Remains," the last one to be written before filming. 12.

They're just two morbid dudes. His nervous reply to James Franco’s Cowboy when asked if he’s been robbed before veers into unintelligibility, but some sharp-eared folks on Reddit think they have it figured out: “Oh, sure enough have, two times attempted I should say, one fella I shot dead, bingo, the other I held for the marshall, both of his legs were shredded. CIFF 2020: Black Perspectives Program Highlights Diverse Voices, CIFF 2020: The Roger Ebert Award Returns to Champion New Voices, Immerse Yourself in Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project #3. Every so often someone will make a controversial case for, say, Intolerable Cruelty. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a twisty Coen brothers masterpiece of tall tales and fables and, by its very nature, rather ambiguous. The book’s pages at the movie’s beginning are turned too quickly for a viewer without a freeze button to read its dedication and epigraph, but the latter might as well be a portion of the Russian grammar book sample Vladimir Nabokov used to open his 1952 novel The Gift, to wit, “An oak is a tree. Some are, as promised in the headline, fact-based Things You Might Have Missed. In Frenchman’s Gulch, the poker hand that Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson) refuses to play is Aces and Eights — which is a pretty decent poker hand, so some viewers well-versed in poker were confused by his outright refusal. One fan theory is the two are father and son, though that feels off — their accents are rather different and it seems like a strictly business relationship, a commentary on the brutal nature of show business (with a highbrow artist who is discarded for the lowbrow mob appeal of a counting chicken). It also means that the Coens engage in some tropes without refuting them. In the moment of her distress, The Englishman is talking to her (doing the distracting) while The Irishman takes her hand (doing the “thumping”). Scruggs is sure to provoke years of debates. 14. “All Gold Canyon” and “The Girl That Got Rattled” are both based on previously published short stories. The dog’s name in “The Girl That Got Rattled” is President Pierce, based on our 14th president whose life was beset by tragedy. In the third story, “Meal Ticket,” the movie takes a grim, mean turn. Had to lock him in the vault there. 13. (The first was composed 25 years ago. "The Mortal Remains" strays from the straightforward parable format of the other entries, and though it's not the only part of Buster Scruggs to deal in fantasy, it's the most elusive. Read his answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun. 11. 3. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. Which segment is the best? The reason he reacts so negatively is, perhaps, superstition. “Near Algodones” This is by far the worst segment in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which is to say it’s really good, just not great.It has a lot of things going for it though, namely in the technical category — there are some stunning shots from cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel here, and the production design of the sparse prairie is stunning, even watching it at home. Q&A after the New York Film Festival Premiere. Aces and Eights is the “Dead Man’s Hand,” and is rumored to be the same hand gunman Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was killed.