Fargo (1996)

Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Awards: Oscar for Best Actress and Best Writing, Saturn for Best Action/Adventure/Thriller, David Lean Award for Direction, Critics Choice Award for Best Actress and Best Picture, and Best Director Award at Cannes Film Festival, to name a few (1997).

Fargo almost feels like a Tarantino film made with an emphasis on the fun and less on the heavy. Jerry Lundegarrd is a car dealer who has fallen heavily into debt. He quietly cooks up a plan and hires two men to kidnap his wife so that he can collect the ransom from her wealthy father. Things quickly sour from there as a simple kidnapping plot turns into a murder spree and a man down on his luck inadvertently changes the lives of everyone around him.

First off, I must admit that I’ve only seen one Coen Brother’s movie prior to recently sitting down and watching Fargo (The Big Lebowski). Ever since the early 90’s I’ve constantly heard how great their movies were and for one reason or another I’ve just never taken the time to see what all the fuss was about. After viewing Fargo, I now have the pleasure of saying that is about to change. Right from the opening credits this movie had me glued till the end. I went into it knowing only that the film was notorious for it’s odd Minnesota accents (“yah, you betcha”) and that it involved a murder. I wasn’t expecting to be sucked into a world of wonderfully odd characters, well shot scenes, and beautiful score that together create an odd mix of dread, black humor, and mood.

Other Notable Films by these Directors: Raising Arizona (1987), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), No Country For Old Men (2007)


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