• Publication date: July 25, 2009

3 Prison Escapees Seek A Buried Treasure Yet What They Find Is Greater Than Gold

The creators of �No Country for Old Men� (2007), �Fargo� (1996), and �The Big Lebowski� (1998) deliver another award winning film, �O Brother, Where Art Thou?� (2000) starring George Clooney and John Turturro.

The creators of �No Country for Old Men� (2007), �Fargo� (1996), and �The Big Lebowski� (1998) deliver another award winning film, �O Brother, Where Art Thou?� (2000) starring George Clooney and John Turturro. Loosely based on the ancient Greek poem �Odyssey,� the picture follows three prison escapees on a journey for $1.2 million dollars tucked away in one of the men�s homes. Throughout their journey they must avert authorities, foes, and logistical issues while recording a hit record, befriending a blues guitarist, and attempting to repair a broken marriage.

Ulysses Everett McGill (Clooney) is a charming, smooth talking inmate at a 1937 Mississippi prison. Everett is no dummy, yet his rhetorical skills and cunningness are partly to blame for his imprisonment. For a significant period of time Everett worked as an attorney, offering his services to a number of clients. While his profession was admirable it was at the same time fraudulent, considering he never set foot inside a law school, much less obtained official permission to practice.

In prison Everett has the frequent misfortune of working in a chain gang, crushing large rocks alongside state highways. His fellow workers, or perhaps slave laborers are Delmar O'Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson) and Pete Hogwallop (John Turturro). O�Donnell, despite robbing a supermarket years prior, is a kind-hearted man � though a bit slow. In contrast, Hogwallop is less than charming, though extremely loyal to his kin.

This is the backdrop for Everett�s most daring scheme ever, a plan to flee imprisonment despite being chained to two other men. Everett�s escape is dependant upon the willingness of Delmar and Pete to join him, and persuading them requires thorough calculation, especially since Pete has a mere two weeks left before being released. In order to entice the two, Ulysses claims that he was imprisoned after robbing an armored car, and that the booty is stashed in a remote cabin. In exchange for their cooperation in the escape, Everett declares that both men will receive a portion of his modern treasure. Insistent upon speediness, he contrives a story partly based in fact to motivate Pete and Delmar. Newspapers and radio stations have announced Mississippi�s plan to build a hydroelectric dam, which as a result, will flood many areas of the state � supposedly including Everett�s cabin.

Yet Everett never robbed an armored car and there are no hidden riches. His reason for escape is to postpone his ex-wife�s wedding that is scheduled to occur in a mere four days. What ensues is a Deep South odyssey plagued by corrupt officials, racist mobs, automotive troubles, deceitful temptresses and internal conflicts. However, one should not have the impression that the film is gloomy. As with the Coen Brothers� past works it is a drama with comedic undertones and eventual, though highly unpredictable, salvation.

�O Brother, Where Art Thou?� was nominated for an Oscar and awarded a Golden Globe; its soundtrack of superb folk music won a Grammy for best compilation album. Critically acclaimed and no slouch at the box office, it earned a highly respectable $71 million worldwide. The picture is rated PG-13 for some violence and language with a runtime of 106 minutes.