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William C. Altreuter
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Monday, November 22, 2004


Upon the (second hand) recomendation of Margot K. we rented The Ladykillers this weekend. I'd given it a miss during its theatrical run, notwithstanding my affection for the Cohen brother's work, due to the tepid critical reception it received, and my own abiding affection for the original. My mistake. Although the two movies share a plot, and even though Tom Hanks is plainly doing his level best to chanel Alec Guinness through a southern accent, in fact the newer movie is after something altogether different than was the original. Actually, when I think about it, this "Ladykillers" is doing what the Cohens have been doing right along: it is a portrait of the America that I don't understand. There is a hilarious scene towards the middle when one of the white charactors confronts Marlon Wayans' charactor, telling him that he'd been a Freedom Rider in the '60's, and had come to the South to fight for black people's right to vote. "Well," says Gawain, "The joke's on you-- because I don't vote." I am not going to move to Canada, tempting as the thought is, but I will continue to marvel at the ability and willingness of Red State America to act in a way that seems against its own best interests. Maybe I do, too, since I continue to believe in the things that Dr. Dean stands for-- and continue to think that Dean would have presented a clearer choice, and might have done better. I've said before that the difference between a Senate Democrat and a sheep is that a sheep is good for wool. I hope they make a better showing this term, but I think we need to look outside D.C. for leadership in the Democratic Party if we are going to have a prayer of appealing to the people the Cohens portray. Loved the music, too, by the way. Say what you will about Red State America-- the music is good. Posted by Hello

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