How to Find God, With Your Guides Ethan and Joel Coen

The closest we ever came to God while watching a Coen brothers film was the time we thanked Him when The Ladykillers was over, but that's not to say we wouldn't give a fair shake to Cathleen Falsani's new book: The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers. Follow the jump for a few key dots Falsani apparently plans to connect — some a little more plausible than others — and then reach into your own filmgoing soul for the ones she sure as Hell better not leave out:

Blood Simple is the story of a man with serious doubts, and what happens when he attempts to discover what the "truth" is.

In Barton Fink, the title character, a successful New York playwright turned Hollywood screenwriter, mortgages his soul as he struggles with terminal writers block among the residents of, what may be, hell-fire, demons and all.

The Big Lebowski chronicles the misadventures of the Dude — stoner, pacifist, philosopher — as he attempts to right some wrongs and vanquish the powers of nihilism and moral turpitude.

O Brother Where Art Thou follows the odyssey (spiritual and otherwise) of three convicts, a skeptic searching for his way home and two seeking redemption from their sins.

No Country for Old Men is an epic, prophetic journey that tackles one of theology's most daunting conundrums, theodicy — if God is good, then why doesn't God intervene to stop unrelenting violence — and surmises that we don't really know what God is thinking.

Actually, we surmised a loooong time before No Country For Old Men that we may not know what God's thinking, and if there's so much as a hint of spiritual revelation in the plot of Blood Simple, we'll turn our cinephilia membership cards in on our way out of the office tonight. That said, we look forward to third-party confirmation that the woodchipper scene in Fargo is a modern metaphor for crucifixion. Or a modern revision of the story of Abraham and Isaac? Maybe we should just leave it to the scholars.

[Photo Credit: Erik Rose]