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New York's Power Siblings

O Brother Ethan, left, and Joel

The Coen Brothers

Joel, 47, director, and Ethan, 45, producer

When a reporter once asked the Coen brothers about their fascination with large men sitting behind big desks, Joel said, "Our father's very slim and never sits behind a desk." This much we do know: They grew up in Minnesota (as revisited in Fargo), which Ethan calls "Siberia with family-style restaurants." Their parents are Orthodox Jews. According to the credits, Joel directs and Ethan produces; in reality, they both do both, and also co-edit under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes. How do you tell them apart? Joel's the one married to Frances McDormand; Ethan's the one who reportedly goes to parties bringing something to read. Characteristic too-cool-for-school pose: The brothers adapted Homer's Odyssey into O Brother Where Art Thou? without actually having read it. "I hear it's good, though," Ethan said at the time.