When Waring Hudsucker, head of hugely successful Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, comes up with a brilliant plan to make a lot of money: appoint a moron to run the company. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and friends can buy it up for pennies on the dollar, take over the company, and restore its fortunes. They choose idealistic Norville Barnes, who just started in the mail room. Norville is whacky enough to drive any company to ruin, but soon, tough reporter Amy Archer smells a rat and begins an undercover investigation of Hudsucker Industries. Written by
Deftly mixing elements from Sturges, Capra, and yes, even De Palma, the Coens along with Sam Raimi have fashioned a modern masterpiece. As with all Coen films, they invite you into their jokes, and if you don't get them, they just don't seem to care-- and that's a good thing. A huge flop, film lovers with a sense of history and humor will be gushing about this one for a long..long..time. Bordering on a musical version of "Brazil" at points, it is as deliberately studied a critique of contemporary American capitalism as it is a searing stare at Hollywood. Paul Newman like all of the Coens' and Raimi's meticulously selected actors seem literally born for their parts. Using the most classical of Hollywood stylistic techniques in the most seamless manner, but with added auteur hyperbole they show us who we are through the comic lens of the camera, always reminding us that it is just a movie. Listen for the title of Amy Archer's Pulitzer prize winning article. Favorite line: "the people look..like..ants."
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