An Anti-Thanksgiving Western

Tim Blake Nelson in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)
The Coen Brothers defile American history in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W hy does the new Coen brothers anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs replicate a collection of short stories? Because it’s a Boomer jest. The film’s format recalls those Edward O’Reilly Pecos Bill tall tales that I used to read in my elementary-school library during recess. The Coens update what’s been called O’Reilly’s “visual farce and verbal exaggeration,” starting with an on-screen image of a hardcover book. Its pages flip to brightly colored plates that introduce each of the six tales — all of them distinguished by the patented sarcasm that made the Coen duo a favorite of Baby Boomers,

Armond White, a culture critic, writes about movies for National Review and is the author of New Position: The Prince Chronicles. His new book, Make Spielberg Great Again: The Steven Spielberg Chronicles, is available at Amazon.


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