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The Vault: The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)



Criticisms of corporate culture often cast a naive outsider as the protagonist. The Hudsucker Proxy's proxy is a man, perceived as an incompetent, who is instilled as the president of Hudsucker Industries so that the company's stock value will plummet, allowing the board of directors to scoop up the devalued stock on the cheap.

Tim Robbins stars in the titular role, with Jennifer Jason Leigh posting an incredibly likable performance as a reporter investigating Robbins' rapid rise, and the always venerable Paul Newman plays the man pulling the strings on the board of directors. Written and director by the Coen brothers in collaboration with Sam Raimi, this film is beautiful, and sharp as a tack. With all of this incredible talent involved, it's no surprise that the film is so enjoyable.

If the Coen brothers had released this film today, it wouldn't have been met with as mixed reception as it was back in 1994. The groupthink in reviewing circles has definitely swung to the Coen's corner since then. It's a bit of a shame that this is so, because honesty is so important in reviewing; the film does incorporate a lot of non-standard imagery and formative elements that reviewers aren't generally kind towards; it would only be fair for the reviews to remain bad today. However, that would just be another reviewing prejudice informing the opinion. Therefore, the film is not only very enjoyable, providing valuable social commentary for the intelligent viewer, it also exposes a weakness in the reviewing community.

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