Five Great Coen Characters

As the Coen Brother’s Oscar winning flick TRUE GRIT heads to cinemas, we pick five of our favourite Coen characters!

Bernie Bernbaum (Miller’s Crossing)

After gaining attention with their comedy ‘Raising Arizona,’ the Coens turned to tackle Prohibition-era gangsters for their next project. Filled with double-crossers and other shady characters, one of the most twisted is John Turtturo’s Bernie Bernbaum, a bookie who is always looking for how he can one-up the other guy… This was the first collobration between Turtturo and the brothers.

Barton Fink (Barton Fink)

Again, John Turturro delivered a sublime performance as the acclaimed playwright who leaves the glamour of Hollywood behind to tell the stories of “the common man”. His brilliant performance coupled with the equally stellar screenwriting of the Coens gives the impression that we are watching a man who attempts to probe the deepest reaches of the human soul before he’s even really sure what he himself wants. Apart from the obvious depth of the character, there’s simply an oddness to Barton that we can’t look away from.

Marge Gunderson (Fargo)

Female characters are often overlooked in the Coen Brother’s flicks, thankfully this isn’t the case for Frances McDormand’s pregnant police officer Marge Gunderson. The perfect blend of gumshoe detective with a PTA mom, McDormand won A Best Actress Oscar for her efforts.

Anton Chigurh (No Country For Old Men)

Javier Bardem plays the sociopath Anton Chigurh, who is nothing short of evil personified. He has perfected killing to an art for with inventive weapon, refusal to stop, and the strange code of honor (heads or tails to see if you live or die-Friend-O) makes him even more terrifying.

Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski (The Big Lebowski)

Possibly the most iconic character the Coens ever created, it will be no suprise to see him on the list. With a plot driven by the insane events going on around him, The Dude does suprisinly little beyond smoke weed, bowl or drink a white russian – and that’s why we love him!