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A Definitive Style Ranking of Coen Brothers Movies

  • Kempt Staff

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American cinephiles rejoice: this weekend the Coen brothers grace us with their 16th feature-length film, Inside Llewyn Davis.

And by all accounts, it promises to be another Coen-riffic masterpiece to add to their already iconic oeuvre—one that gets re-dissected every time a new film pops up. But here’s one thing critics have managed to overlook: the on-screen style. It varies as much as the genres they’ve tackled and warrants as serious consideration as any other facet of their distinctive storytelling. Naturally, we’re correcting that oversight with:

A definitive style ranking of Coen brothers movies.»

No Tuxedos Allowed

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For all the pageantry associated with black tie events, they tend to be a bit…uncreative.

Take this Pete-Campbell esque suit for example, worn by Darren Aronofsky to the Academy Awards luncheon earlier this week. You’d never get away with this sort of thing in black tie territory, but at an event where a fair number of the attendees were wearing jeans, it’s entirely fair game. And, as it happens, it’s pretty sharp.

And while we're not giving up the tux-watch entirely, but we've gotten a lot more out of this year's luncheon class pic than anything we've seen on a red carpet. Between Aaron Sorkin’s old-man suit and the Coen Brothers’ grad-student scruff, you can actually get a sense of personal style, which is more than we can say for the last few telecasts.

But the main lesson, as usual, is that Jeff Bridges always looks fantastic.

The Official Glasses of Metaphysical Crisis

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A Serious Man, the Coen Brother’s latest, hits theaters this week, and if you’re a frames nerd like us, you’ll notice one sartorial item getting an unusual amount of screen time. In addition to a shlubbified Mad Men closet and a truly impressive selection of early 60s ties, Larry Gopnik spends the film sporting an enviable pair of Moscot Lemtoshes. In fact, it may be the only enviable thing about him.

Gopnik also spends the movie being pummeled by metaphysical torment, which is probably why the Coen connection hasn’t found its way into more press releases. As a costume, it’s pitch-perfect: Moscot’s such a beloved brand because people like your dad wore them—or at least the better dressed version of your dad who ends up in movies—but mortgage payments rarely find their way into that particular pitch.

Personally, we came out of the movie with a greater desire for nebbish frames…but results may vary.

Glenn’s Past, The Coen Formula, and Avery’s Big Break

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Havin’ a TV Party: GQ’s style guy used to spend his time hanging out on TV with Joe Strummer and the like. Now you can catch the glory days of DVD, along with a peek at pre-Madras NYC. [Selectism]

Week One: All of fashion week in one place. You’ll have to provide your own champagne and house music. [NYT]

The Brotherhood of Coen: Being America’s most prolific indie auteurs isn’t all that hard. Just follow this simple formula… [NYMag]

God Bless Us, Avery One: Our favorite hockey player is about to get the Hollywood treatment. We suggest Mark Wahlberg for the lead. [Gawker]