The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

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The self-made head of a successful corporation commits suicide and its scheming board installs a naive young mail boy as a replacement to crash the stock and buy it up at a bargain price.

An appealing homage to screwball comedies of the 1940’s, The Hudsucker Proxy is an early film from the Coen brothers and bears their hallmark combination of oddball characters and attractive imagery. Jennifer Jason Leigh bulldozes her way through her scenes impersonating Katherine Hepburn impersonating Lois Lane and Tim Robbins makes a likeable enough boob. But the real show-stealer is Paul Newman’s corporate shark who was clearly an influence on J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spiderman films and he electrifies the screen every time he appears. Unfortunately, plot is a little thin on the ground and its a little difficult to care about the skullduggery of corporate life but it definitely has a lot of offbeat charm and a few genuinely laugh out loud moments.

It may be one of the Coens’ comparatively minor works, but it is still well worth the time.

6/10

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