Movie Diary 11/5/2018

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2018). Multi-episode Western. The film is kind of amazing, and mostly about storytelling and show business, but about everything else, too. Let us say it is a movie about its times. Considering the occasional criticism of the Coen brothers’ alleged interest in human beings, one of the things that’s most striking about this movie is the people onscreen – not just well-known actors such as Tim Blake Nelson, Tom Waits, or Zoe Kazan, but remarkable turns by Bill Heck, Chelcie Ross, Grainger Hines, and Harry Melling, among others. A lush physical production, as expected. It’s a little like Mad magazine’s “Scenes We’d Like to See” crossed with Michael Haneke.