Burn After Reading, starring George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, and Frances McDormand, has gotten a September 12 release date, the AP reports.
While Oscar watchers will pin their hopes on the Coens, lightning doesn’t often strike twice, unless you’re Clint Eastwood, John Ford or Oliver Stone. This one sounds like the “funny Coens,” like O Brother or Barton Fink. The Vulture folks over at NY Mag wrote up the script back in May last year, whilst No Country was making a big show at Cannes:
As one could expect from a pair of writer-directors who followed Barton Fink with The Hudsucker Proxy, and The Man Who Wasn’t There with Intolerable Cruelty, Burn After Reading is a comedy; its dark wit and ridiculously tangled plot differ substantially from the austere drama of No Country for Old Men. Malkovich plays Osbourne Cox, an alcoholic fired CIA agent whose memoir manuscript accidentally leaks. Pitt plays Chad Feldheimer, a dim-bulb personal trainer who finds the CD-ROM containing the manuscript and launches a plan to profit from the discovery. And Clooney plays Harry Pfarrer, a gone-slightly-to-seed Treasury agent whose philandering lands him in the middle of the ensuing mess.
We’ve speculated before that this film, starring as it does Clooney, might complete the Clooney-Coen “idiot trilogy,” after O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Intolerable Cruelty. Given the number of foolish misunderstandings, romantic entanglements, accidental shootings, Lycra-clad asses, and “lactose reflux” references in the script, we think we’re right. The screenplay is awfully funny, as in this exchange when Chad helps his best friend, Linda, check out an Internet dating site and comes across a potential beau with aviator glasses:
He uh, he might not be a loser.Linda:
How can you tell?
That’s a Brioni suit.
Does he look like he has a sense of humor?
He looks like his optometrist has a sense of humor.
New York Daily News has a photo gallery of Burn After Reading worth checking out.