So I saw the broadcast TV version of Burn After Reading.
(The first Coen brothers film I ever saw was Blood Simple. IMDB says it came out in ’84, but it seems to me I saw it earlier than that. I thought it was great. The fullest movie ever! It was so ‘way beyond noir! And there was so much wretching.)
For TV, they re-dubbed over most of the bleeping expletives. (Uh, we’re back to Burn After Reading now.) It was hilarious. The first dub doesn’t match up at all with what John Malkovich is saying. I think they did that on purpose. After that the loops are much smoother. And sometimes very creative. I recall one point where the descriptive cuss word is replaced by a descriptive non-cuss word that is a reference to a previously mentioned character trait. And then there are points where Brad Pitt is repeating “secret stuff” over and over, and it’s funnier than what the original words were, but it’s funnier because they did replace them. If they’d originally actually used “secret stuff” it wouldn’t have been very funny. As it is it’s meta-funny. Ouch, I just broke my brain.
I’m hoping the actors had a lot of fun making this movie, because I had so much fun watching them. Frances McDormand can do anything! And George Clooney plays a good twitchy person. And all the spooks are so perfect! And Richard Jenkins is just heartwrenching. It’s got to be one of the best casts ever!
There’s misunderstandings and people doing wrong things. There are no good role models here. The same snippets of dialogue keep coming ’round again. It’s very Coen-esque. And as usual, I love everything but the last 2 minutes. But even the last 2 minutes are still good. I just never like them.
So this is another chance to have a double-feature with The President’s Analyst. They’re both comedies about spies and paranoia. Burn After Reading is less broadly farcical, The President’s Analyst less personally so. Watch The President’s Analyst last, so you end on a happy note.
Who do you work for?!