25 Best Coen Brother Characters

From Barton Fink to the Dude, counting down Joel and Ethan's craziest, most unforgettable creations

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18. Amy Archer ('The Hudsucker Proxy')

If they gave out Academy Awards for hand acting, Jennifer Jason Leigh would have been a lock for her portrayal of a hardbitten 1950s newswoman whose wrists seem to end in anxious doves. Modeled on Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, Leigh's "fast-talking career gal" affects a tough outer skin to make it in what's still a man's world; unfortunately, she's laid low by Tim Robbins' Norville Barnes, a guileless dope whose utter lack of calculation throws her for a loop. Her vain insistence that she's "plenty happy" lends a hint of pathos to one of the Coens' most overtly farcical movies, and underlines the danger, for her and everyone else, of pursuing success at all costs. SA

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