Fargo is one of those rare pictures about which I have nothing negative to say. Based on an allegedly true story (since debunked as fiction) that took place in North Dakota/Minnesota in 1987, Fargo is the instantly enthralling tale of the financially-troubled Jerry Lundergaard (William H. Macy), a plan to kidnap his wife (Kristin Rudrud), her wealthy father (Harve Presnell), the halfway-competent criminals who screw everything up (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare), and the pregnant cop who's on the case (Frances McDormand).
What makes a film like this, done a hundred different times in a hundred different ways, so good? Joel and Ethan Coen's script is the base--a wickedly funny and quirky screenplay that is executed with perfection by the leads, particularly Oscar-caliber Macy and McDormand. The brothers, who grew up in Minneapolis, where a large chunk of the action takes place, have also imbued the film with a rich and realistic regional flair--authentic from the weather to the clothes to (especially good) the accents. It's so real, I was actually hungry for back bacon when I left.
Every shot of Fargo is executed like it's a piece of art with the Coens' typical style; there is nothing at all wasted in the film, as the Coens make even what would normally be dull establishing scenes fun. Also, while Fargo is as black as black comedy can get, it isn't completely over the edge (the problem that shattered The Hudsucker Proxy). More restrained--very much "back to basics" a la Blood Simple -- the Coens have truly found their stride.
So don't read any more about the film. Just go see it, and prepare to have a blast. Don't be daunted by the typically poor Coen brothers film title of Fargo (not only is it nondescript, but not much of the movie is even set in Fargo (that's North Dakota)). Just bundle up against that icy cold.
Not gonna barf.
Run time: 98 mins
In Theaters: Friday 5th April 1996
Box Office Worldwide: $60.6M
Distributed by: MGM
Production compaines: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Working Title Films
Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 79 Rotten: 5
IMDB: 8.2 / 10
Director: Joel Coen
Producer: Ethan Coen
Starring: William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard, Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson, Steve Buscemi as Carl Showalter, Peter Stormare as Gaear Grimsrud, Kristin Rudrüd as Jean Lundegaard, Harve Presnell as Wade Gustafson, Tony Denman as Scotty Lundegaard, Gary Houston as Irate Customer, John Carroll Lynch as Norm Gunderson, Sally Wingert as Irate Customer's Wife, Steve Reevis as Shep Proudfoot, Steve Park as Mike Yanagita, Larry Brandenburg as Stan Grossman, Kurt Schweickhardt as Car Salesman, Larissa Kokernot as Hooker #1, Melissa Peterman as Hooker #2
As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...
This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...
Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...
Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...
A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...
First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...
Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...
Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...