Many people felt that the whole soundtrack was better than the movie. Even people who thought the movie was very, very good.
The soundtrack, which had sequels of its own, also won Album of the Year at the 2002 Grammys.
And the a capella singing of "Down To The River" deserves special mention for its INCREDIBLE harmonies. That many people singing together, all with amazing voices, is enough to give you goosebumps.
Crosses the Line Twice: Everett's daughters telling him repeatedly, directly to his face, that he died from being hit by a train.
"Oh George, ''not the livestock!"'
The Ku Klux Klan scene. There is even a attempted lynching!
Jerkass Woobie: George Nelson is presented this way; a lonely man with poor impulse control and a desperate desire for attention and fame, which all drives him to commit crimes. He may also have some bipolar tendencies.
Magnificent Bastard: Pappy O'Daniel taking advantage of the protagonists' band to rebuild his political career.
Vindicated by History: It's kind of in the process of this currently. Some Coen Brothers fans still give this a mixed review, while more and more are starting to see it as a masterpiece. There is a growing base that calls it the Coens' finest film.
Why Would Anyone Take Her Back: Penny is a shrill, demanding harpy who lies to her daughters about their father right in front of him, shows him no loyalty or affection throughout the entire movie, and refuses to remarry him unless he retrieves her old wedding ring in the cabin that is now underwater. Not that Everett is exactly an upstanding citizen himself, but he must really love his daughters if he's willing to put up with that.