Grotesquely happy, murderous singing cowboy Tim Blake Nelson explains that he’s not a misanthrope in the Coens’ most self-referential piece yet, before he’s killed by a Hail Caesar singer.
James Franco gets hanged for his comically failed bank robbery, then again after escaping on account of Indians killing the guys hanging him, the point of the episode seeming to be the joke where he turns to another guy getting hanged and says “first time?”
(Nearly?) mute Liam Neeson wheels a monologuing human torso (Harry Melling) from town to town until tastes change and Neeson finds new entertainment that’s cheaper to feed. A haunting and cynical segment – wonderful looking, with rich storybook color, as are they all.
Tom Waits as an ol’ prospector, the role he was born to play, just searching for gold in a gorgeous river valley amongst deer and owls. The lead character has died at the end of every segment so far, so I was afraid for Tom, but he turns the tables on would-be thief Sam Dillon.
Finally it’s a woman’s turn to meet a sorry end: nervous Zoe Kazan, a wagon train widow who is very nearly protected from Indians by Bill Heck and Grainger Hines.
Then five mismatched people in a coach, like a Stagecoach parody, ending up like Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors with all of them already dead.
Watched at the Landmark, and reserving further comment until I either rewatch and get some sweet screenshots, or order that Adam Nayman book.