Coen brothers' fans name their favorite films

Herewith my favorite Coen Brothers movies, ranked in descending order of how eager I would be to watch them again at the drop of a hat (which everyone knows is much less foolish than a man chasing his hat) -- Ann Hornaday
Saturday, December 25, 2010; 11:10 PM

Some folks are "Big Lebowski" types; some folks are "Barton Fink." We asked fans to pick their favorite Coen brothers film.

Newt Gingrich, former House speaker, potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate: "My favorite Coen brothers movie is 'Fargo' because it combines a mystery, black humor and the finest imitation of northern Minnesota dialect ever put on the screen."

Peggy Parsons, head of film programs at the National Gallery of Art: "In a sense, my favorite Coen brothers film is their next one, the one to come - anticipation is everything with these two. But 'No Country for Old Men' best sums up what I most enjoy about them: the wit, the nonstop intelligent flashes and canny details. With 'No Country,' however, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts."

Michael Jaworek, promoter for Alexandria's Birchmere music hall: " 'Miller's Crossing' is a great example of a different sort of gangster picture. They circle around to the subject, sort of coloring in from the edges, and then all of the sudden you go, 'Holy cow, now I get it!' I felt as though I was in the frame with the action, and I should have been wearing a white shirt and a black tie."

Jeff Krulik, Washington documentary filmmaker ("Heavy Metal Parking Lot," "Hitler's Hat," "Ernest Borgnine on the Bus" ): "Raising Arizona." "It was broad comedy, it was smart comedy, it was almost, like, otherworldly. My roommates and I used to quote the line about pajamas all the time: 'They had Yodas 'n' [expletive] on 'em!' It's just such an incredible description of kids' pajamas. "

Steve Davies, columnist for "The Big Lebowski." "At the end, after Donny's ashes blow back in Dude's face, Dude is understandably upset but has to forgive Walter, who keeps saying, 'Dude, I'm sorry.' We've all known people like that, who never seem to get anything right or have good intentions that backfire. But we have to cut them some slack. Which seems pretty basic to any vision of a benevolent and loving society - forgiveness."

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