Blood-spat­tered salute to the old west

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews Film - Peter ter Brad­shaw shaw

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

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