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“Joel and Ethan Coen’s films… often take a brutal, Old Testament tack on morality, defining good and evil along Biblical guidelines, and offering little wiggle room for anyone who doesn’t follow the Ten Commandments, or even anyone who strays from the Golden Rule. Their films are never explicitly religious in the sense of Christian-targeted movies, which come with frequent preaching and doctrinal messages. But the Coens always touch on moral choices, from career criminality to simple codes of personal conduct. And when characters make the wrong choices—which they virtually always do, because there would be no story otherwise—the Coens either laugh at them or kick them in the teeth. Different films take different approaches, but the Coens’ career as a whole has established some definitive rules.”

Tasha Robinson wraps up our Movie Of The Week discussion of Fargo with a survey of the moral concerns and codes that pervade the work of the Coen brothers. [Read more…]

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