Ethan Coen

Ethan Coen Biography.com

Screenwriter, Director(1957–)
Screenwriter Ethan Coen and his brother have written numerous award-winning films including Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Fargo, and No Country for Old Men.

Synopsis

After studying philosophy at Princeton University, Ethan Coen and his brother Joel began writing their first screenplays. The brothers made their screen debut in 1984 with Blood Simple, the first of what would be many films dedicated to a filmmaking style that is notably eccentric, ironic, darkly comic and often violent. The film earned critical acclaim, establishing the brothers' talent.

Profile

Director. Born September 21, 1957, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After studying philosophy at Princeton University, Ethan and his brother Joel began writing their first screenplays. The brothers made their screen debut in 1984 with the Texas-based noir Blood Simple, the first of what would be many films dedicated to a filmmaking style that is notably eccentric, ironic, darkly comic and often violent. The film earned critical acclaim, establishing the brothers as fresh, original talent.

In 1987, the duo released the comedy Raising Arizona, a lighthearted departure and serious box office hit. In the early 1990s, the Coens went on to make numerous films, including Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991) and Hudsucker Proxy (1994). Though the latter was a relative disappointment, it was followed by the brothers' most ambitious and successful film to date, the extremely dark comedy Fargo (1996). The Coens shared a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for their work. Frances McDormand, whom Joel had married in 1984, won another Oscar for Best Actress for the film.

In 1998, they put out The Big Lebowski, which won a Golden Bear nomination for Joel at the Berlin Film Festival. They released O Brother, Where Art Thou? in 2000, which was loosely based on Homer's Odyssey and starred George Clooney and John Turturro. In summer 2003, the brothers teamed with Tom Hanks and Marlon Wayans for the remake of the 1955 British bandit comedy Ladykillers.

For their next effort, Ethan and Joel Coen contributed a segment called "Tuileries" for the 2006 film Paris, je t'aime, which explored the City of Light through individual stories set in different neighborhoods. In a completely different vein, the Coen brothers put a modern spin on the traditional western with No Country for Old Men (2007), which starred Tommy Lee Jones as a Texas sheriff in pursuit of a ruthless hitman played by Javier Bardem. Josh Brolin appeared as a local man who discovered money at the scene of a drug deal gone bad and ended up being pursued by Bardem. The film has brought the pair a lot of critical acclaim and several award nominations. In February 2008, those nominations became three Academy Awards for the Coen brothers. They took home the awards for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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