The Ballad of Buster Scruggs of Joel and Ethan Coen is a part of the offensive Netflix to conquer the world of cinema, with these general elite that are the great authors. Originally, it was a series in six one-hour episodes, aimed at a dissemination sequenced in time on the streaming platform. In the course of the road, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is transformed into a single two-hour movie: movie format adapted for the big screen, which allowed him to be selected in competition at the Venice film Festival. The Coen brothers are away with the best screenplay award: double win for Netflix, with the golden Lion returning to Roma Alfonso Cuaron, also distributed on Netflix and put online on the 14 December.
After No Country for Old Men (2007) and True Grit (2010), this is the third foray of the famous tandem in the universe of the western. This time, they make up a kind of anthology of the legendary Western of the time of the pioneers. Six stories of an extraordinary variety of tones, characters, accents. It begins on the mode of burlesque simple, playing on the stylization BD. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs , the first story which gives its title to the whole, is hilarious. Half cowboy and half crooner, Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson) is a kind of Lucky Luke who talks to his horse and improvises songs. In a bar in the middle of the desert, he orders a whisky. “We don’t serve whisky,” said the taulier also patibulaire that his few customers. Prohibited by law.””That is what they drink?” asks Buster. “Whisky… But to them, it is the out-of-the-law.” A few shots well-placed ensues. Buster looks a bit lunar like that, but it can also shoot faster than his shadow juggling with his six-shots. And the Coen brothers collaborated with him to organize a few fights memorable, until the final duel with a mysterious black rider who may well be death. After him, the laughter becomes more yellow, the humour black. James Franco, vagabond, robber of banks, is a game of gallows funny that die hard, even the neck rope.
In the third story, Meal Ticket , the tone is mockery and bitter to follow the journey of melancholy of an actor, a cripple, and her impresario, chained by misery to their small travelling theatre.
All Gold Canyon tells us, with a Tom Waits colossal, the story of a prospector who finally finds a vein of gold. But that is not the only one on the kick. The Gal Who Got Rattled evokes a sense of drama more traditional, with a twist of irony, the destiny pathos of a lonely girl in the middle of a convoy of pioneers crossing the Oregon. Finally, The Mortal Remains takes five passengers of a stagecoach to a mysterious destination. Their conversation extravagant and their typology cosmopolitan lead us to a fantastic à la Edgar Poe.
The writers and filmmakers are reinventing the atmosphere of a western with the distant, of those who arrived late in a world décharmé. They treat it with a realism that is not afraid of the triviality (you can feel the dust, the wear and tear of the body, the smell of the old trapper), but also with a sense of the picturesque legendary which takes off stories to the fantastic. With interpreters brilliant, the Coen brothers offer a gallery of characters of a humanity that is truculent. Dreamers brutal, innocent, lost, pragmatic, greedy, ladies with dignity bourgeois, these people of the West all have something of a solitary and fearless, which is not far from the delirium. And death is often of the trip.