Director: Joel Cohen
Screenplay: Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya and M. Emmet Walsh.
Certificate 18Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Running time: 92 mins
DVD & Blu-ray
Reviewed by Guy Adams
In the interest of full disclosure I love the work of the Coen Brothers. I think they make lovely, witty, beautiful films. I know not everyone shares this opinion, that is because some people have stupid eyes and shouldnâ€™t be allowed in cinemas. A sad fact of life that is the burden of creatives everywhere. So, yes, I may be a little biased here…
But Iâ€™m right so it doesnâ€™t matter. Blood Simple, their first movie, is an absolute masterclass of Texan Noir (note the capitals as if itâ€™s a real genre that I didnâ€™t just make up). A small cast of broken characters who play out their bloody Greek Tragedy (I didnâ€™t make that one up) over a tight and atmospheric ninety minutes. Especially tight actually as this is the Directorâ€™s Cut of the film (unreleased on DVD in the UK until now). Usually Directorâ€™s Cuts are longer, footage re-inserted that was cut due to studio insistence. Not here. Here, the Coens went back to the movie and tightened it up, shortening shots and removing flab. Sigh… *wafts self in giddy admiration* they even go about the business of Directorâ€™s Cuts in a interesting way.
I rarely talk about plot (annoying I know but I think it important to give as little away as possible) and I stand by that here. For those who are unfamiliar with the film I will simply say this: it involves a misjudged affair, a broken-hearted bar owner, a deliciously grotesque private detective, three rotting fish and a spade.
Essential for anyone with taste.
Released April 15th