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Four months ago, before True Grit’s virtual shut-out at the Oscars, directing brothers Joel & Ethan Coen told everyone that their next film would be a horror movie. Since then they’ve been pretty mum about what they’re doing next, and in the interim it seems to have morphed into some kind of music-themed film. Are they one and the same?
This current project doesn’t seem like a horror movie. As overheard by The Playlist the Coens compared their next film to Margot at the Wedding. That’s a 2007 Noah Baumbach movie in which two sisters fight with each other at a wedding. Actually… maybe that could be a horror movie. The Coens probably aren’t doing a wedding movie though, it sounds like the reference was meant to speak more to the movie’s style than its subject matter.
As for how “music” fits in, Joel Coen says, “We’re working on a movie now that has music in it but it’s pretty much all performed live, single instrument so it’s hard to tell.” Again, what does that mean? It doesn’t sound like a musical, or anything in the mold of their previous music-focused movie O, Brother Where Art Thou.
Explaining a little more, while still remaining frustratingly vague, Joel says, “In adaptations that we’ve done, even if we have ended up using the same actors, they have, generally speaking, been written because the characters are presented to you in an adaptation. So they’re written without regard to who’s necessarily going to play them, from our point of view. But in stories that we’re coming up with ourselves it’s frequently the case that we write for specific people although I have to say, the [musical] thing we’re doing now, we’re not writing specifically for any of the parts which is unusual for us.”
What in the word are they talking about? When I think Margot at the Wedding with live music I think Rachel Getting Married, the woefully underrated, Jonathan Demme directed movie from 2008 in which Anne Hathaway made a pretty strong case for being a really great actress. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Does that bear any relation to what the Coen boys are up to? Your guess is as good as ours. Start the speculation in our comments below.