Look, I like
The movie is written and directed by Turturro himself; the only connection and involvement with the Coen Bros’ is they allowed the actor to use the character of Jesus Quintana. Along with Turturro, the cast is very stacked; Audrey Tautou, Christopher Walken, Bobby Cannavale, Jon Hamm, Susan Sarandon, and Pete Davidson all appear. So why does this movie feel so weird?
There’s no way around it, the big reason is the character of Jesus. In
The IMDb credits for
“Two whimsical, aimless thugs harass and assault women, steal, murder, and alternately charm, fight, or sprint their way out of trouble. They take whatever the bourgeois characters value: whether it’s cars, peace of mind, or daughters. Marie-Ange, a jaded, passive hairdresser, joins them as lover, cook, and mother confessor. She’s on her own search for seemingly unattainable sexual pleasure.”
Sounds very ’70s, and very French. Only in French movies could thugs who assault women, steal, and murder also be “whimsical and aimless”. So it definitely seems like Turturro and Cannavale fit the bill of the two thugs, and Tautou is the “jaded, passive hairdresser” who has very biblical roles to fill. But this makes it all the more baffling in context with the Jesus. Not only are they not trying to retcon the character’s horrible past crimes, they’re steering in to it even more?
20 years of people telling you how much they love a particular character you played surely gives an actor a sense that people connect with said character. But it’s much more like people enjoy Turturro’s outrageous portrayal of the Jesus more than the character himself. Jesus Quintana is a repugnant horrorshow of a man; he’s not a lovable misunderstood rogue.