Drive-Away Dolls Movie Review

With Ethan Coen stepping outside the brotherhood in the creation of Drive-Away Dolls, it might make one wonder if he can still bring the magic all by himself? The short answer is talent is talent, singularly or in conjunction with the family connection. A lot of what makes a Coen Brothers film what it is is present here. There are some entertaining additions as well.

Early example, their usual approach to violence, where it is used almost as a summation of the randomness of fate is sidestepped by having one of the most graphic scenes of maleficence in their canon open the film. It is shocking and arriving so early on acts as a bit of a red herring as underlining all that happens afterward is a simple love story.



Actor Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) in a real star turn plays Jamie, a young woman looking for love in mostly the wrong places. Her friendship with the conservative Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) underlines the direction the film takes and as they come to define their relationship, your interest grows.

This road trip film with a twist sees Ethan crafting a work that references the excesses of the seventies and the emergence of gay culture acceptance in the nineties in a thoroughly entertaining way. There are also interludes like the psychedelic scenes that bring to mind The Joshua Light Shows from the Fillmore East and West days that add to the irreverence that makes the Coen’s work so much darn fun.
Rob Hudson