O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000)

Rating: B

Dir: Joel Coen
Star: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman

After a career largely spent doing modern fables, the Coen brothers have chosen to adapt Homer’s Odyssey, with Clooney playing Ulysses, an escapee from a Mississippi chain-gang. Depending on your familiarity with classic literature, you may recognise some elements, but it’s not that important and is hugely accessible, with the Coen’s usual great eye for character, assisted by previous collaborators like Turturro, Goodman and Holly Hunter.

If anything, it’s all perhaps a little too familiar: for example, we saw the “near supernatural hunter” in Raising Arizona. Such is the omnipresent nature of myth, maybe, and Clooney is very likeable, coming over somewhere between Errol Flynn and Bruce Campbell. Though between this movie and Three Kings, any livestock which see Clooney filming in their area would be well advised to stampede themselves elsewhere.