I love the Coen’s work, although I admit I am more a fan of their comedy (O Brother, Fargo) then their drama. Just personal taste.
The second question is one all artists have to ask themselves, no matter the medium. I feel that as much as people may complain about the prevalence of sequels and similar movies, there is enough original visions and voices coming out to make an impact. For instance there’s del Toro who has a history of big budget movies that don’t shed his distinct style. Harmony Korine is given money to make his crazy visions, and no matter what you think of him there’s a beauty that the guy who made “Trash Humpers” is still out there. That’s not even going into the short films and feature films that are spread through the internet.
I also feel people are too quick to hoist artistic vision as the marker for a good film. Terrible movies have been made because an artist had a vision while there have been incredible movies made for easy money. Never forget that Coppola made The Godfather for the money it would get him and his studio.
do not denigrate the motive of money. it can make beautiful things