Coen brothers

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Joel and Ethan Coen
Coen brothers Cannes 2015 2 (CROPPED).jpg
Ethan (left) and Joel Coen, at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival
Joel Daniel Coen
(1954-11-29) November 29, 1954 (age 66)
Ethan Jesse Coen
(1957-09-21) September 21, 1957 (age 63)

Other names
  • The Coen Brothers
  • Roderick Jaynes
  • Mike Zoss
Education St. Louis Park High School
Alma materJoel: New York University (BFA)
Bard College at Simon's Rock (AA)
Ethan: Princeton University (BA)
Bard College at Simon's Rock (AA)
OccupationFilm directors, producers, screenwriters, editors
Years active1984–present
Spouse(s)Joel: Frances McDormand (m. 1984)
Ethan: Tricia Cooke
(m. 1990)
ChildrenJoel: 1
Ethan: 2

Joel Coen (born November 29, 1954) [1] and Ethan Coen (born September 21, 1957), [2] popularly known as the Coen Brothers ( /ˈkən/ ), are American film directors, producers, screenwriters, and editors. Their films span many genres and styles, which they frequently subvert or parody. [3] Their most acclaimed works include Raising Arizona (1987), Miller's Crossing (1990), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), Burn After Reading (2008), A Serious Man (2009), True Grit (2010), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018).


The brothers write, direct and produce their films jointly, although until The Ladykillers (2004) Joel received sole credit for directing and Ethan for producing. They often alternate top billing for their screenplays while sharing editing credits under the alias Roderick Jaynes. They have been nominated for 13 Academy Awards together, and individually for one award each, winning Best Original Screenplay for Fargo and Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country for Old Men. The duo also won the Palme d'Or for Barton Fink (1991).

The Coens have written a number of films they did not direct, including the biographical war drama Unbroken (2014), the historical legal thriller Bridge of Spies (2015), and lesser-known, commercially unsuccessful comedies such as Crimewave (1985), The Naked Man (1998) and Gambit (2012). Ethan is also a writer of short stories, theater and poetry.

They are known for their distinctive stylistic trademarks including genre hybridity. [4] No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man and Inside Llewyn Davis have been ranked in the BBC's 2016 poll of the greatest motion pictures since 2000. [5] In 1998, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked Fargo among the 100 greatest American movies ever made. [6]


Early life

In regards to whether our background influences our film making ... who knows? We don't think about it ... There's no doubt that our Jewish heritage affects how we see things.

—Joel Coen, on the Coens' Jewish heritage. [7]

Joel Daniel Coen (born November 29, 1954) and Ethan Jesse Coen (born September 21, 1957) were born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. [8] Their mother, Rena (née Neumann; 1925–2001), was an art historian at St. Cloud State University, [9] and their father, Edward Coen (1919-2012), was an economist at the University of Minnesota. [10] The brothers have an older sister, Deborah, who grew up to become a psychiatrist working in Israel. [11] [12] Both sides of the Coen family were Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews. [11] Their paternal grandfather, Victor Coen, was a barrister in the Inns of Court in London before retiring to Hove with their grandmother. [13] Edward Coen was an American citizen born in the United States, [13] but grew up in Croydon, London and studied at the London School of Economics. [11] Afterwards he moved to the United States, where he met the Coens' mother, and served in the United States Army during World War II. [11] [13]

The Coens developed an early interest in cinema through television. They grew up watching Italian films (ranging from the works of Federico Fellini to the Sons of Hercules films) aired on a Minneapolis station, the Tarzan films and the comedies of Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope and Doris Day. [14] In the mid-1960s, Joel saved money from mowing lawns to buy a Vivitar Super 8 camera. [15] Together, the brothers remade movies they saw on television, with their neighborhood friend Mark Zimering ("Zeimers") as the star. [16] Cornel Wilde's 1965 film The Naked Prey became their Zeimers in Zambezi, which featured Ethan as a native with a spear. The 1943 film Lassie Come Home was reinterpreted as their Ed... A Dog, with Ethan playing the mother role in his sister's tutu. They also made original films like Henry Kissinger, Man on the Go, Lumberjacks of the North and The Banana Film. [17]


Joel and Ethan graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1973 and 1976, respectively,[ citation needed ] and from Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. [18]

After Simon's Rock, Joel spent four years in the undergraduate film program at New York University, where he made a 30-minute thesis film called Soundings. [19] In 1979 he briefly enrolled in the graduate film program at the University of Texas at Austin, following a woman he had married who was in the graduate linguistics program. The marriage soon ended in divorce and Joel left UT Austin after nine months. [20]

Ethan went on to Princeton University and earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy in 1979. [18] His senior thesis was a 41-page essay, "Two Views of Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy," which was supervised by Raymond Geuss. [21]

Personal lives

Joel has been married to actress Frances McDormand since 1984. In 1995, they adopted a son, Pedro McDormand Coen, from Paraguay when he was six months old. [22] [23] McDormand has acted in several Coen Brothers films: Blood Simple , Raising Arizona , Miller's Crossing , Barton Fink , Fargo , The Man Who Wasn't There , Burn After Reading , and Hail, Caesar! For her performance in Fargo she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Ethan married film editor Tricia Cooke in 1990. They have two children: daughter Dusty and son Buster Jacob. [24]

Both couples live in New York. [25]



After graduating from New York University, Joel worked as a production assistant on a variety of industrial films and music videos. He developed a talent for film editing and met Sam Raimi while assisting Edna Ruth Paul in editing Raimi's first feature film, The Evil Dead (1981). [26]

In 1984 the brothers wrote and directed Blood Simple , their first commercial film together. Set in Texas, the film tells the tale of a shifty, sleazy bar owner who hires a private detective to kill his wife and her lover. The film contains elements that point to their future direction: distinctive homages to genre movies (in this case noir and horror), plot twists layered over a simple story, dark humor, and mise-en-scène . The film starred Frances McDormand, who went on to feature in many of the Coen brothers' films (and marry Joel). Upon release the film received much praise and won awards for Joel's direction at both the Sundance and Independent Spirit awards. [27]

Their next project was Crimewave (1985), directed by Sam Raimi and written by the Coens and Raimi. Joel and Raimi also made cameo appearances in Spies Like Us (1985).

The brothers' next film was Raising Arizona (1987), the story of an unlikely married couple: ex-convict H.I. (Nicolas Cage) and police officer Ed (Holly Hunter), who long for a baby but are unable to conceive. When a local furniture tycoon (Trey Wilson) appears on television with his newly born quintuplets and jokes that they "are more than we can handle", H.I. steals one of the quintuplets to bring up as their own. The film featured Frances McDormand, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, and Randall "Tex" Cobb.


Miller's Crossing , released in 1990, starred Albert Finney, Gabriel Byrne, and John Turturro. The film is about feuding gangsters in the Prohibition era, inspired by Dashiell Hammett's novels Red Harvest (1929) and The Glass Key (serialized in 1930).

The following year, they released Barton Fink (1991); set in 1941, in which a New York playwright, the eponymous Barton Fink (played by John Turturro), moves to Los Angeles to write a B-movie. He settles down in his hotel room to commence writing but suffers writer's block until he is invaded by the man next door (John Goodman). Barton Fink was a critical success, earning Oscar nominations and winning three major awards at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d'Or. [28] It was their first film with cinematographer Roger Deakins, a key collaborator for the next 25 years.

The Hudsucker Proxy (co-written with Raimi) was released in 1994. In it, the board of a large corporation in 1958 New York City appoints a naive schmo as president (Tim Robbins) for underhanded reasons. The film bombed at the box office ($30 million budget, $3 million gross in the USA), even though it featured Paul Newman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Frances McDormand appears in a brief uncredited role.

The Coens wrote and directed the crime thriller Fargo (1996), set in their home state of Minnesota. Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), who has serious financial problems, has his wife kidnapped so that his wealthy father-in-law will pay the ransom. His plan goes wrong when the kidnappers deviate from the plan and local cop Marge Gunderson (McDormand) starts to investigate. Produced on a small budget of $7 million, Fargo was a critical and commercial success, with particular praise for its dialogue and McDormand's performance. The film received several awards, including a BAFTA award and Cannes award for direction, and two Oscars: a Best Original Screenplay and a Best Actress Oscar for McDormand. [29] [30]

In the Coens' next film, the black comedy The Big Lebowski (1998), "The Dude" (Jeff Bridges), a Los Angeles slacker, is used as an unwitting pawn in a kidnapping plot with his bowling buddies (Steve Buscemi and John Goodman). Despite initially receiving mixed reviews and underperforming at the box office, it is now well received by critics, [31] and is regarded as a classic cult film. [32] An annual festival, Lebowski Fest, began in 2002, and many adhere to the philosophy of "Dudeism". [33] Entertainment Weekly ranked it 8th on their Funniest Movies of the Past 25 Years list in 2008. [34]

Gates of Eden , a collection of short stories written by Ethan Coen, was published in 1998. [35] [36] The same year, Ethan co-wrote the comedy The Naked Man , directed by their storyboard artist J. Todd Anderson. [37]


Ethan and Joel at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival COEN Brothers (cannesPH).jpg
Ethan and Joel at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival

The Coen brothers' next film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), was another critical and commercial success. The title was borrowed from the Preston Sturges film Sullivan's Travels (1941), whose lead character, movie director John Sullivan, had planned to make a film with that title. [38] Based loosely on Homer's Odyssey (complete with a Cyclops, sirens, et al.), the story is set in Mississippi in the 1930s and follows a trio of escaped convicts who, after absconding from a chain gang, journey home to recover bank-heist loot the leader has buried—but they have no clear perception of where they are going. The film highlighted the comic abilities of George Clooney as the oddball lead character Ulysses Everett McGill, and of Tim Blake Nelson and John Turturro, his sidekicks. The film's bluegrass and old-time soundtrack, offbeat humor and digitally desaturated cinematography made it a critical and commercial hit. [39] [40] It was the first feature film to use all-digital color grading. [41] The film's soundtrack CD was also successful, spawning a concert and concert/documentary DVD, Down from the Mountain.

The Coens next produced another noirish thriller, The Man Who Wasn't There (2001). Set in late 1940s California, a laconic chain-smoking barber (played by Billy Bob Thornton) discovers a way to blackmail his wife's lover and use the proceeds to invest in a dry cleaning business.

The Coens directed the 2003 film Intolerable Cruelty , starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, a throwback to the romantic comedies of the 1940s. It focuses on hotshot divorce lawyer Miles Massey and a beautiful divorcée whom Massey managed to prevent from receiving any money in her divorce. She vows to get even with him while, at the same time, he becomes smitten with her. Intolerable Cruelty received generally positive reviews, although it is considered one of the duo's weaker films. [42] Also that year, they executive produced and did an uncredited rewrite of the Christmas black comedy Bad Santa , which garnered positive reviews. [43]

In 2004, the Coens made The Ladykillers , a remake of the Ealing Studios classic. [44] A professor, played by Tom Hanks, assembles a team to rob a casino. They rent a room in an elderly woman's home to plan the heist. When the woman discovers the plot, the gang decides to murder her to ensure her silence. The Coens received some of the most lukewarm reviews of their careers in response to this film. [45]

They directed two short films for two separate anthology films Paris, je t'aime (Tuileries, 2006) starring Steve Buscemi, [46] and To Each His Own Cinema (World Cinema, 2007) starring Josh Brolin. [47] Both films received highly positive reviews. [48] [49]

With Javier Bardem at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival Javier Bardem Coen brothers.jpg
With Javier Bardem at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival

No Country for Old Men , released in November 2007, closely follows the 2005 novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy. Vietnam veteran Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), living near the Texas/Mexico border, stumbles upon, and decides to take, two million dollars in drug money. He must then go on the run to avoid those trying to recover the money, including sociopathic killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), who confounds both Llewelyn and local sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). The plotline is a return to noir themes, but in some respects it was a departure for the Coens; with the exception of Stephen Root, none of the stable of regular Coen actors appears in the film. No Country received nearly universal critical praise, garnering a 94% "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. [50] It won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, all of which were received by the Coens, as well as Best Supporting Actor received by Bardem. The Coens, as "Roderick Jaynes", were also nominated for Best Editing, but lost. It was the first time since 1961 (when Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise won for West Side Story ) that two directors received the Academy Award for Best Director at the same time. [51]

In January 2008, Ethan Coen's play Almost an Evening premiered off-broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company Stage 2, opening to mostly enthusiastic reviews. The initial run closed on February 10, 2008, but the same production was moved to a new theatre for a commercial off-Broadway run at the Bleecker Street Theater in New York City. Produced by The Atlantic Theater Company, it ran there from March 2008 through June 1, 2008. [52] and Art Meets Commerce. [53] In May 2009, the Atlantic Theater Company produced Coen's Offices, as part of their mainstage season at the Linda Gross Theater. [54]

Burn After Reading , a comedy starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, was released September 12, 2008, and portrays a collision course between a gym instructor, spies and Internet dating. Released to positive reviews, it debuted at No. 1 in North America. [55]

In 2009, the Coens directed a television commercial titled "Air Freshener" for the Reality Coalition. [56] [57]

They next directed A Serious Man , released October 2, 2009, a "gentle but dark" period comedy (set in 1967) with a low budget. [58] The film is based loosely on the Coens' childhoods in an academic family in the largely Jewish suburb of Saint Louis Park, Minnesota; [58] it also drew comparisons to the Book of Job . [59] [60] Filming took place late in the summer of 2008, in the neighborhoods of Roseville and Bloomington, Minnesota, at Normandale Community College, and at St. Olaf College. [61] [62] The film was nominated for the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. [63]


True Grit (2010) is based on the 1968 novel of the same name by Charles Portis. [64] Filming was done in Texas and New Mexico. Hailee Steinfeld stars as Mattie Ross along with Jeff Bridges as Marshal Rooster Cogburn. Matt Damon and Josh Brolin also appear in the movie. [65] True Grit was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture. [66] [67]

The Coens, presidents of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival jury Coen brothers Cannes 2015.jpg
The Coens, presidents of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival jury

Ethan Coen wrote the one-act comedy Talking Cure, which was produced on Broadway in 2011 as part of Relatively Speaking , an anthology of three one-act plays by Coen, Elaine May, and Woody Allen. [68]

In 2011, the Coen brothers won the $1 million Dan David Prize for their contribution to cinema and society. [69] [70]

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is a treatise on the 1960s folk music scene in New York City's Greenwich Village, and very loosely based on the life of Dave Van Ronk. [71] The film stars Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan. [72] It won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it was highly praised by critics. [73] They received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for "Please Mr. Kennedy", which is heard in the film. [74]

Fargo , a television series inspired by their film of the same name, premiered in April 2014 on the FX network. It is created by Noah Hawley and executive produced by the brothers. [75]

The Coens also contributed to the screenplay for Unbroken , along with Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson. The film, directed by Angelina Jolie, and based on Laura Hillenbrand's non-fiction book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010) which itself was based on the life of Louis Zamperini, was released on December 25, 2014 to average reviews. [76]

The Coens co-wrote, with playwright Matt Charman, the screenplay for the dramatic historical thriller Bridge of Spies , about the 1960 U-2 Incident. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and released on October 4, 2015 to critical acclaim. [77] They were nominated for the Best Original Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards. [78]

The Coens directed the film Hail, Caesar! , about a "fixer" in 1950s Hollywood trying to discover what happened to a cast member who vanishes during filming. It stars Coen regulars George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, as well as Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, and Alden Ehrenreich. [79] The film was released on February 5, 2016.

In 2016, the Coens gave to their longtime friend and collaborator John Turturro the right to use his character of Jesus Quintana from The Big Lebowski in his own spin-off, The Jesus Rolls , which he would also write and direct. The Coens have no involvement in the production. In August 2016, the film began principal photography. [80] [81]

The Coens first wrote the script for Suburbicon in 1986. The film was eventually directed by George Clooney and began filming in October 2016. It was released by Paramount Pictures in the fall of 2017. [82]

The Coens most recently directed The Ballad of Buster Scruggs , a Western anthology starring Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, and James Franco. It began streaming on Netflix on November 16, 2018, after a brief theatrical run. [83] [84] [85]

Planned and uncompleted projects

In a 1998 interview with Alex Simon for Venice magazine, the Coens discussed a project called The Contemplations, which would be an anthology of short films based on stories in a leather bound book from a "dusty old library". [86] This project may have influenced or evolved into The Ballad of Buster Scruggs , which has the same structure.[ original research? ]

In 2001, Joel stated that "a Cold War comedy called 62 Skidoo is one I'd like to do someday". [87]

The Coens had hoped to film James Dickey's novel To the White Sea. [88] They were due to start production in 2002, with Jeremy Thomas producing and Brad Pitt in the lead role, but it was canceled when the Coens felt that the budget offered was not enough to successfully produce the film.

In 2008, it was announced that the Coen brothers would write and direct an adaptation of Michael Chabon's novel The Yiddish Policemen's Union (2007). They were to produce the film with Scott Rudin for Columbia Pictures. [89] In the fall of 2012, however, Chabon told Mother Jones that "the Coen brothers wrote a draft of a script and then they seemed to move on", and that the film rights had "lapsed back to me". [90]

In 2009, the Coens stated that they were interested in making a sequel to Barton Fink called Old Fink, which would take place in the 1960s, around the same time period as A Serious Man. The Coens also stated that they had talks with John Turturro in reprising his role as Fink, but they were waiting "until he was actually old enough to play the part". [91]

In 2011, the Coens were working on a television project, called Harve Karbo, about a quirky Los Angeles private eye, for Imagine Television. [92]

In December 2013, the Coens stated in an interview that they were working on a new musical comedy centered around an opera singer, though they said it is "not a musical per se". In the same interview, they revealed they were also working on a sword and sandals drama film set in ancient Rome. [93]

In August 2015, it was announced that Warner Bros. had optioned the film rights to Ross Macdonald's novel Black Money for the Coen brothers to potentially write and direct. [94]

In October 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the Coens would work on the screenplay [95] for Fox titled Dark Web, and based on Joshuah Bearman's two-part Wired article [96] about Ross Ulbricht and his illicit Silk Road online marketplace. The project originated in 2013, with novelist Dennis Lehane on board for the screenplay. Chernin Entertainment would produce. [97]

On February 10, 2017, it was announced that the Scarface remake's script was being written by the Coens. [98] Luca Guadagnino announced plans to direct the film. [99]

It was announced in March 2019 that Joel Coen would be directing an adaptation of Macbeth starring Denzel Washington. [100] The film, titled The Tragedy of Macbeth , would be Joel's first directorial effort without his brother Ethan, who was taking a break from films to focus on theater. [101]

Production company

The Coen brothers' own film production company, Mike Zoss Productions located in New York City, has been credited on their films from O Brother, Where Art Thou? onwards. [102] It was named after Mike Zoss Drug, an independent pharmacy in St. Louis Park since 1950 that was the brothers' beloved hangout when they were growing up in the Twin Cities. The name was also used for the pharmacy in No Country for Old Men. [103] The Mike Zoss logo consists of a crayon drawing of a horse, standing in a field of grass, with its head turned around as it looks back over its hindquarters.

Directing distinctions

Up to 2003, Joel received sole credit for directing and Ethan for producing, due to guild rules that disallowed multiple director credits to prevent dilution of the position's significance. The only exception to this rule is if the co-directors are an "established duo". From 2004 on, they were able to share the director credit and since then, the Coen brothers have become only the third duo to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director.

Only seven other directors have won three Oscars for the same film, a distinction the duo shares with Billy Wilder, James L. Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Bong Joon-ho.[ citation needed ]

With four Academy Award nominations for No Country for Old Men for the duo (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing as Roderick Jaynes), the Coen brothers have tied the record for the most nominations by a single nominee (counting an "established duo" as one nominee) for the same film. Orson Welles set the record in 1941 with Citizen Kane being nominated for Best Picture (though at the time, individual producers were not named as nominees), Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay. Warren Beatty received the same nominations, first for Heaven Can Wait in 1978 and again in 1981 with Reds . Alan Menken also then achieved the same feat when he was nominated for Best Score and triple-nominated for Best Song for Beauty and the Beast in 1991. In 2018, Alfonso Cuarón was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography for Roma . Most recently, Chloé Zhao matched this record in 2021 when she was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing for Nomadland .


Directed features
1984 Blood Simple Circle Films
1987 Raising Arizona 20th Century Fox
1990 Miller's Crossing
1991 Barton Fink
1994 The Hudsucker Proxy Warner Bros. Pictures / Universal Pictures
1996 Fargo Gramercy Pictures
1998 The Big Lebowski
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? Buena Vista Pictures / Universal Pictures
2001 The Man Who Wasn't There USA Films
2003 Intolerable Cruelty Universal Pictures
2004 The Ladykillers Buena Vista Pictures
2007 No Country for Old Men Miramax / Paramount Vantage
2008 Burn After Reading Focus Features
2009 A Serious Man
2010 True Grit Paramount Pictures
2013 Inside Llewyn Davis CBS Films
2016 Hail, Caesar! Universal Pictures
2018 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Netflix
TBA The Tragedy of Macbeth A24


Joel's wife Frances McDormand is their most frequent acting collaborator Frances McDormand 2015 (cropped).jpg
Joel's wife Frances McDormand is their most frequent acting collaborator

The Coen brothers frequently cast certain actors in their films, most frequently Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Jon Polito, George Clooney, and John Turturro. They have worked twice with Jeff Bridges, Billy Bob Thornton, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and Tim Blake Nelson and at least three times with Michael Badalucco, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Root, Bruce Campbell, J.K. Simmons, and Josh Brolin.

The Coens similarly tend to collaborate with certain filmmakers as well, especially Roger Deakins, Jess Gonchor, Skip Lievsay, and Mary Zophres. They used cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld on their first three films, through Miller's Crossing, until Sonnenfeld left to pursue his own directing career. Deakins has been the Coen brothers' cinematographer for all their subsequent films except Burn After Reading, on which they employed Emmanuel Lubezki, [104] and Inside Llewyn Davis and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, on which they employed Bruno Delbonnel. [105]

Sam Raimi is another frequent collaborator. He helped write The Hudsucker Proxy, which the Coen brothers directed, and the Coen brothers helped write Crimewave , which Raimi directed. Raimi took tips about filming A Simple Plan (1998) from the Coen brothers, who had recently finished Fargo. (Both films are set in blindingly white snow, which reflects much light and can make metering for a correct exposure tricky).[ citation needed ] Raimi has cameo appearances in Miller's Crossing and The Hudsucker Proxy. Raimi and the Coens met when Raimi directed The Evil Dead (1981), for which Joel was hired as an assistant editor. [106]

Carter Burwell has scored all of the Coens' films, aside from Crimewave (1985), although T Bone Burnett produced much of the traditional music in O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Ladykillers, and was in charge of archive music for The Big Lebowski. [107] Skip Lievsay handles the sound editing for all of the Coens' films. [108]

Most of the Coens' films have been credited to the editor "Roderick Jaynes", an alias which refers collectively to the two Coen brothers. [109] Tricia Cooke, Ethan's wife, was also an editor on three of their films (The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and The Man Who Wasn't There) after working as assistant editor on four of their earlier films (Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, and Fargo). Michael R. Miller edited Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing.


YearFilmAcademy AwardsBAFTA AwardsGolden Globe Awards
1991 Barton Fink 31
1996 Fargo 72614
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? 2421
2001 The Man Who Wasn't There 1113
2007 No Country for Old Men 849342
2008 Burn After Reading 32
2009 A Serious Man 211
2010 True Grit 1081
2013 Inside Llewyn Davis 233
2016 Hail, Caesar! 11
2018 The Ballad of Buster Scruggs 31

Directed Academy Award performances

Academy Award for Best Actor
2010 Jeff Bridges True Grit Nominated
Academy Award for Best Actress
1996 Frances McDormand Fargo Won
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1991 Michael Lerner Barton Fink Nominated
1996 William H. Macy Fargo Nominated
2007 Javier Bardem No Country for Old Men Won
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
2010 Hailee Steinfeld True Grit Nominated


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John Michael Turturro is an American actor, writer, producer, and director. He is known for his contributions to the independent film movement. He has appeared in over sixty feature films and has worked frequently with the Coen brothers, Adam Sandler, and Spike Lee. He began his acting career on-screen in the early 1980s, and received early critical recognition with the independent film Five Corners (1987). Turturro's mainstream breakthrough came with Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989) and the Coens' Miller's Crossing (1990) and Barton Fink (1991), for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. His subsequent roles included Herb Stempel in Quiz Show (1994), Jesus Quintana in The Big Lebowski (1998) and The Jesus Rolls (2020), Pete Hogwallop in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Seymour Simmons in the Transformers film series and is set to play Carmine Falcone in The Batman. In 2016, in a lead role, he portrayed a lawyer in the HBO miniseries The Night Of; and had a recurring role in the miniseries The Plot Against America in 2020.

<i>Barton Fink</i> 1991 film by the Coen brothers

Barton Fink is a 1991 American period black comedy psychological thriller film written, produced, edited and directed by the Coen brothers. Set in 1941, it stars John Turturro in the title role as a young New York City playwright who is hired to write scripts for a film studio in Hollywood, and John Goodman as Charlie Meadows, the insurance salesman who lives next door at the run-down Hotel Earle.

Carter Benedict Burwell is an American composer of film scores. He has consistently collaborated with the Coen brothers, having scored most of their films, including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men, Burn After Reading, Hail, Caesar! and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Burwell has also scored three of Todd Haynes's films, three of Spike Jonze's films, and all the films of Martin McDonagh. He has received Oscar nominations for Best Original Score for Haynes's Carol (2015) and McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017).

<i>Crimewave</i> 1985 film by Sam Raimi

Crimewave is a 1985 American comedy horror film directed by Sam Raimi, written by him and the Coen brothers, and starring Louise Lasser, Paul L. Smith, Brion James, Sheree J. Wilson, Edward R. Pressman, Bruce Campbell, and Reed Birney, with Campbell also serving as a producer. Following the commercial success of The Evil Dead (1981), Raimi and Campbell decided to collaborate on another project. Joel Coen of the Coen brothers served as one of the editors on The Evil Dead, and worked with Raimi on the screenplay. Production was difficult for several members of the crew, and the production studio, Embassy Pictures, refused to allow Raimi to edit the film. Several arguments broke out during the shoot of the film due to continued interference by the studio.

The 1st Florida Film Critics Circle Awards honoured the best in film for 1996.

The 9th Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, given on 10 March 1997, honored the finest achievements in 1996 filmmaking.

Scott Spiegel is an American screenwriter, film director, producer and actor. He co-wrote the screenplay for the movie Evil Dead II with longtime friend, film director Sam Raimi, with whom he attended Wylie E. Groves High School in Birmingham, Michigan. Spiegel played the role of Scotty in Raimi's Within the Woods, which served as a precursor to The Evil Dead, whom Spiegel was replaced by Richard DeManincor.

<i>Burn After Reading</i> 2008 film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Burn After Reading is a 2008 black comedy crime film written, produced, edited and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It follows a recently jobless CIA analyst whose misplaced memoirs are found by a pair of dimwitted gym employees. When they mistake the memoirs for classified government documents, they undergo a series of misadventures in an attempt to profit from their find. The film also stars George Clooney as a womanizing U.S. Marshal, Tilda Swinton as Katie Cox, the wife of John Malkovich's character, Richard Jenkins as the gym manager, and J.K. Simmons as a CIA supervisor.

Skip Lievsay

Skip Lievsay is an American supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer and sound designer for film and television, Lievsay has worked with filmmakers and directors including the Coen brothers, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Jonathan Demme and Robert Altman.

<i>Inside Llewyn Davis</i> 2013 film by Coen brothers

Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 black comedy-drama film written, directed, produced, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen. Set in 1961, the film follows one week in the life of Llewyn Davis, played by Oscar Isaac in his breakthrough role, a folk singer struggling to achieve musical success while keeping his life in order. The supporting cast includes Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver.

<i>Hail, Caesar!</i> 2016 film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Hail, Caesar! is a 2016 comedy film written, produced, edited and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. An American-British-Japanese co-production, the film stars Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum with Michael Gambon as the narrator. It is a fictional story that follows the real-life fixer Eddie Mannix (Brolin) working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, trying to discover what happened to a star actor during the filming of a biblical epic. First talked about by the Coens in 2004, Hail, Caesar! was originally to take place in the 1920s and follow actors performing a play about ancient Rome. The Coens shelved the idea until late 2013. Principal photography for the film began in November 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The film premiered at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles, California on February 1, 2016, and was theatrically released by Universal Pictures on February 5. Hail, Caesar! grossed $63 million worldwide on a $22 million budget and received positive reviews from critics. The film was chosen by National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2016 and received nominations at the 89th Academy Awards and 70th British Academy Film Awards, both for production design.

Joel and Ethan Coen, collectively referred to as the Coen brothers, are American filmmakers. Their films span many genres and styles, which they frequently subvert or parody. The brothers write, direct and produce their films jointly.

Frances McDormand filmography Wikipedia list article

The following is the filmography of American actress Frances McDormand. She made her film debut in Blood Simple (1984), the first film by her husband Joel Coen and brother-in-law Ethan Coen. In 1987, she appeared in a supporting role in Raising Arizona, also directed by the Coen brothers. For her performance in Mississippi Burning (1988), she received her first Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actress. In 1990, McDormand starred in Darkman and Hidden Agenda. In 1992, she co-starred in the television film Crazy in Love. The following year, McDormand co-starred in Robert Altman's acclaimed ensemble film Short Cuts. For her performance in Fargo (1996), she won her first Academy Award, for Best Actress. For her supporting turn in the television film Hidden in America (1996), McDormand received her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Television Movie. Additional film roles around this time include Primal Fear and Lone Star, both in 1996, as well as Paradise Road (1997) and Madeline (1998).


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