Title: The Hudsucker Proxy
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Director: Joel Coen
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Silly of me, I was so possessed with the thought that this is a Robert Altman film until the end-credits rolls! It’s a Joe Coen’s film! Then I checked on internet and it became clear that I was mistaking for THE PLAYER (1992), Altman’s inside Hollywood satire which also stars Tim Robbins.
For me, the film is an amalgam of Capra’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) and Terry Gilliam’s BRAZIL (1985). A futuristic surrealism is a tentative stab for Coen brothers but a diverting treat for their fanboys. The free-falling scenes are devastatingly jaw-dropping and the time-stopping clock backdrop is a brilliant tactic.
About the cast, what a stroke of luck to be a post-graduate rookie at the age of 35 both physically and mentally. Tim Robbins’ chubby baby-face does the magic like the hoola-hoop does to the Hudsucker enterprise in the film! Maybe overshadowed by THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION at the same year, Tim’s performance is more accurate than impressive. A Pulitzer winner reporter Jennifer Jason Leigh and the legendary Paul Newman are the goldmine here in my opinion, especially for the former, she could embody herself with eruptive vehemence and wide-eyed ingenue in the same scene! God, I love her bullets-blasting wrangle with John Mahoney and Bruce Campbell (sticks like glue to Sam Raimi, who is the co-writer of the film).
All in all, I cannot say it is Coen brothers’ best film largely due to a slightly frivolous script and an overexposed ridicule, I’m more in favor of their later works, namely, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN 2007 and TRUE GRIT 2010.