Are the Coens Nihilists?

There’s a new Coen brothers movie out (which I quite liked), and you know what that means: time for another debate about whether or not the duo and their films are nihilist. On one hand, you have David Denby, who says (roughly): Boy are they ever! On the other hand, you’ve got Chris Orr, who defends the brothers against the charge. Me? I’m somewhere in between. And, of course, anyone interested in the question should make sure to check out Matt Zoller Seitz’s old House Next Door piece in which he argues that, no, the Coens aren’t nihilists at all.