Is there a filmmaker (or set of filmmakers) who have had a better decade than the Coens? I feel truly fortunate to be living in this decade, just so that I can see the newest Coen film every year, because this might be their best decade yet in a career that has consistently ushered at least two “classics” a decade since their career began in the early 1980s. O’ Brother Where Art Thou’? Is in many ways a film I would have loved to have made. Its title is a tribute to the fictional film being pitched in Sullivan’s Travels, a favourite of mine, its narrative lifted from Homer’s Odyssey, one of my other passions is Greek history and mythology, and the film is brimming with the traditional style folk songs that currently fill my MP3 player. I hold little resentment though, because this film is just so colourful and filled with life. It is mannered and exaggerated, much like the Hollywood genre it’s channeling, and yet it’s humour is so dead-on Coens that you could never mistake it for the work of anyone else. The epic “O’ Death” sequence may be my favourite, as it seems to be lifted from the Wizard of Oz, and is both darkly humorous and hauntingly disturbing, matching a set of contradicting feelings with a sense of ambiguity that the best of Coens’ work seems to be infused with.