I saw Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Miller’s Crossing 21 years ago, once. And that was it. No seconds because I was soothed as opposed to aroused. I had a good time and enjoyed the hell out of Barry Sonnenfeld‘s cinematography and Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, Albert Finney and John Turturro‘s performances, but it didn’t blow me away. I had it ranked just below Barton Fink and just above Raising Arizona.
I saw it again on Bluray this morning and everything changed. Now it’s a near-masterpiece. Now I plan to watch it every year or so for the rest of my life.
From the Wiki page: “The film alludes to Barton Fink in two ways. Firstly, a prominent newspaper article with the headline ‘Seven Dead in Hotel Fire,’ refers to a fire at the end of that film. And secondly, by naming the apartment building Tom lives in ‘the Barton Arms’.
“The city in which the film takes place is unidentified, but was shot in New Orleans as the Coen Brothers were attracted to its look. Ethan Coen commented in an interview, “There are whole neighborhoods here of nothing but 1929 architecture. New Orleans is sort of a depressed city; it hasn’t been gentrified. There’s a lot of architecture that hasn’t been touched, store-front windows that haven’t been replaced in the last sixty years.”
“Miller’s Crossing was a box-office failure at the time, making slightly more than $5 million, out of its $10 to $14 million budget. However, it has made a great deal of revenue in video and DVD sales.
“Film critic David Thomson calls the film ‘a superb, languid fantasia on the theme of the gangster film that repays endless viewing.'”