The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
This package is all about style. Stylised performances. sets and cinematography. all wrapped tip with satirical (‘oen brothers’ string. Think ol‘classics such as The l’lli/(H/U/p/UU Story; all last dialogue and cold. intriguing characters. btit with more cut- throat humour.
In a nutshell: it’s 1958 and president \Varing Hudsucker (Charles Durning) leaps oil the 44th ﬂoor of lludsucker
Industries skyscraper. leaving scheming VP Sidney J. Mussberger (Paul Newman) to take the company to the brink
of ruin so that the board can buy up all the shares. How better
to do this than employing dumb mailroom boy .\'orville Barnes (Tim Robbins) to run the company“? How indeed. (‘ue a serious amount of cigar-chomping by Newman‘s inl'uriated villain as Robbins. gosh darn it. comes tip with an idea destined to make the company a fortune.
Visually. it's a joy to watch. The idea of business as a machine stares us in the face while the mechanical clock on Hudsucker tower turns. Then there‘s .lennil'er .lason Leigh. She plays Pulitzer prize-winning newsroom gal Amy Archer. who's determined to find out the truth about lludsucker’s new president. as Dorothy Parker via Katherine Hepburn. .lust another sparkling (actor that makes this a (‘oen gem. however. (Louisa Pearson)
4 Barton Fink (1991)
A writer writes. right‘.’ But what il‘ the muse ceases returning your calls'.’ And your only l'ricnds are your neurosis and the sensitive-il—psychotic insurance salesman ne\t door'.’ Barton is a pompous scribe who wants to put the dreams ol the common man on the silver screen. but discovers Hollywood to be personally unsettling and creatively stilling. .lolm 'l’urturro is excellent as the hedge-haired link. the author who loses the plot. but it‘s John (loodman as the al‘l'able (‘harlie Meadows AKA Madman Mundt who steals the picture.
Winner of the Palm l)‘()r at (‘annes in l‘)‘)l. Burton link" is cerebral and comic in its treatment ol tinseltown and the ego of the artist. l’avourite line in a pic packed with them'.’ "l'hink about it. liink. Writers come and go: we always need lndiansf Burton burns brightest. though. when (loodman is on screen. The deﬁning scene ﬁnds the Big .Man racing down a hotel corridor. shotgun looking tiny in his paws. lilames licking along the walls behind him. and bellowing look upon nn'.’ Look upon NH’.’ ['11 .v/IUH‘ you [lie life of the mind." It’s noir dragged into the sunlight and possibly the (‘oens at their very best. (Rodger livans)
‘lt’s funny, we’ve never pitched a movie in our lives. We’ve never had to. How would we describe it?’
l’lotw isc. an interesting btit l‘airly standard crime thriller: a man arranges for his wife to be kidnapped so he can get his hands on the ransom paid out by her rich lather. Plans go awry. people get killed and the police become involved. line. But. by adding black. black humour. a whole lot ol snow. a woodchipper and much mid-west weirdness. the (‘ocns took us to a place we hadn‘t ever been before. and we liked it (even though some ol‘ the l‘olks were kind ol lunny looking).
'l‘he cast. including \Villiam ll. Macy and Steve Buscetni. are brilliant. but the star of the show is lirances Mcl)ormand as Marge (lunderson. the heavily pregnant and decidedly unusual investigating police ofﬁcer. 'l'owards the end of the lilm. when she has solved the case and is driving the surviving kidnapper into town. she says: "l‘here's more to lil‘e than a little money. ya know. Don't ya know that'.’ And here ya are. and it's a beautil‘ul day. Well. I just don’t understand it.‘ She‘s the heart and soul of the tilm. the (ethnic Jimmy Stewart in the (‘oens’ (slightly twisted) (‘apra-esque tale of small-town good trimnphing over out—oli-‘town bad. Magniﬁcent. (.lenny l.eask) b
it) Oct 1 Nov POO) THE LIST 13