Director: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Zoe Kazan, James Franco, Brendan Gleeson
Ever since Netflix began acquiring and developing its own library of films the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has, with the exception of Netflix's documentaries, resisted recognizing Netflix pictures as legitimate, award worthy content. This changed last year when Mudbound broke through to get 4 nominations and one imagines that this year, with the release of Roma, already so thoroughly lauded with awards from critics, and with filmmakers like the Coen brothers turning to the platform with their latest, the notion that films released through Netflix aren't "real" movies will be obliterated. The Coen's latest, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a great challenge to the idea that Netflix removes the "cinema" from films, as it is a thoroughly cinematic piece of work even when viewed on a small screen thanks to the sumptuous compositions of cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, who previously lensed the Coen's Inside Lleweyn Davis. Telling a series of tales set in the old west, Buster Scruggs hearkens back a time when the Western was as big as all outdoors while being told in the wry, modern voice of the Coens.