Blood-spattered salute to the old west
Starring Tim Blake Nelson, Willie Watson, David Krumholtz, James Franco
The Coens have given us a hilarious, beautifully made, enjoyable and rather disturbing anthology of stories from the old west: vignettes that switch with stunning force from picturesque sentimentality to grisly violence. There’s barely a forehead that doesn’t get a bullet in it sooner or later. One or two of the stories don’t have a satisfying twist in the tail; there is one disconcerting fade-out.
Each tale is prefigured with the sight of an old book, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. A hand turns the pages and we see these stories in print, themselves prefaced by an illustrated plate previewing a dramatic incident from what’s to come. Remembering and