The Coen Brothers are responsible for some of the weirdest movies to
come down the pike in Hollywood history. Movies like Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink and Miller's
Crossing are examples of their sheer, odd genius. Fargo is their best
and most coherent work to date.
Starring: Frances McDormand, William H.
Macy, and Steve Buscemi
To give too much of the plot away would be a crime (no pun intended).
Allegedly based on a true story, the movie tells the story of car salesman
Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), who has gotten himself into serious
debt. His father-in-law is a millionaire, so Jerry devises a way to have
his wife kidnapped by two thugs, Carl and Gaear (Steve Buscemi and Peter
Stormare), with whom he'll split the ransom money. One thing after another
goes wrong with this plan and Jerry, who's not exactly quick-witted, is
forced to handle everything as it crumbles down around him.
As a result of one of the mishaps in this scheme, three people are murdered
by Gaear. Pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) is
called in to investigate and the movie follows her as she pieces the puzzle
of the crime together.
makes the film so interesting is the dialogue, complete with an odd
sort of Scandinavian/Midwest dialect
and accent, which is perfectly
suited to the sort of twisted story that's being told. In contrast to
characters that can scheme and plot horrible crimes, we have characters
that say things like "your dirn tootin'." It's odd, but strangely
William H. Macy, who's been a regular in David Mamet's plays and movies,
is fantastic as Jerry Lundegaard. His performance is deserving of the
Academy Award nomination it received and hopefully will propel him to
greater stardom. Frances McDormand, who's Marge Gunderson is a calm, methodical
investigator with a lot of spunk and determination, rightly won the Academy
Award for Best Actress. Steve Buscemi, who seems to have cornered the
market on slimy weasel characterizations, is perfect for his role as well.
The casting for this movie could not have been more dead-on.
Fargo is a movie that is, at times, violent and horrific as it reveals
what some people will do for a little money. It also shows, in the form
of Marge Gunderson and her husband, that life can be a pleasant enough
thing that money really isn't that big a deal.
Roger Ebert has said that Fargo is a movie that reminds him of why he
loves movies. I'd have to say that I agree 100% with Mr. Ebert on that
call. Don't pass this one over!
of outdoor scenes had to be constantly moved all over Minnesota, North
Dakota, and Canada because spring was approaching and the snow kept
melting too fast. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)