Monday, December 5, 2011


At Hudsucker Industries There's a Fast Way to the Top...
And an Even Faster Way Down
On the eleventh Lynchian day of Christmas, we present Joel and Ethan Coen's send-up to 30's, 40's, and 50's screwball comedies The Hudsucker Proxy (1994). Set in December of 1958, no sooner does Hudsucker Industries achieve the pinnacle of success when its CEO inexplicably throws himself out the window in the middle of a board meeting. The board of directors, led by classic actor Paul Newman, search for a puppet CEO to place in charge of the company. They ultimately choose a young business school graduate played by Tim Robbins, who turns out to be a smarter, more talented and independent than the board originally thought. With some parallels to today's social conflicts over the role of corporations, the movie follows this Christmastime power struggle to its ultimate and zany conclusion.
The Coen Brothers have always been remarkably Lynchian in their sensibilities, mixing abstraction, humor, drama, and horror in strange and innovative ways since their first film Blood Simple (1984) to their latest transcendent Western True Grit (2010). Although not the Coen Brothers' funniest film—we prefer their later homage to The Odyssey in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)—The Hudsucker Proxy stands as one of the most bizarrely fun films of the last 20 years. Sometimes the movie bites off a little more thematically than it can chew, as pointed out in N.Y. Times Critic A.O. Scott's retrospective on the film, but unlike most films on this list, the whole family can enjoy watching this one with you.

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