Sunday, April 19, 2015


Movie Name: Fargo
Year of Release: 1996
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Stars: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell, Peter Stormare, Larry Brandenburg, John Carroll Lynch, Tony Denman, Steve Reevis, Bruce Bohne, Steve Park
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Following their bigger budget experiment with "The Hudsucker Proxy" (done for Warner Brothers studio), the Coen brothers went back to their independent roots, and came back with what turned out to be one of their biggest hits and one of their most iconic films to date, the celebrated "Fargo". Based on a true story, the film focuses on the story of Jerry Lundegaard, a car salesman in Minnesota, who's going through financial problems. Jerry devises a plan to get ahead, by forging a fake kidnapping of his wife, getting the ransom money from his extremely wealthy father in law. For that purpose, he hires two unscrupulous crooks, who kidnap his wife, but in the process end up killing a bunch of people and derailing what was originally a simple plan. This sparks the attention of chief of police Marge Gunderson, a resourceful and very pregnant police officer who starts untangling this messy ordeal.
Joel and Ethan Coen have made a career of showcasing humor in surreal and extreme situations. "Fargo" is one of their most successful features, since it perfectly captures habits and language of a small community located in the Midwest. The characters are perfectly depicted, showcasing their traits and how they react to situations that become increasingly more bizarre (and the humor that comes from these surreal scenarios). The film also has a perfect combination of a cast of characters and the space surrounding them: the frozen tundra that exists in Minnesota also becomes one of the central characters of the film. The actors are uniformly fantastic, from the always superb Frances McDorman (who won the Oscar), to William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare (most of whom collaborate with the brothers frequently). The cinematography from Roger Deakins is stunning as is the score from Carter Burwell. A classic always worth watching!