December 14, 2015
Review #765: Fargo.
Frances McDormand (Marge Gunderson), William H. Macy (Jerry Lundegaard), Steve Buscemi (Carl Showalter), Peter Stormare (Gaear Grimsrud), Harve Presnell (Wade Gustafson), Kristin Rudrüd (Jean Lundegaard), Tony Denman (Scotty Lundegaard), Larry Brandenburg (Stan Grossman), John Carroll Lynch (Norm Gunderson), and Steve Reevis (Shep Proudfoot) Directed by the Coen Brothers (#659 - True Grit)
The movie opens with the following text: "THIS IS A TRUE STORY. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred." The movie's credits utilize the "All persons fictitious disclaimer", but even with all of that, the movie seems so real, especially with the small-town setting. While only the opening scene takes place in Fargo, it is where everything comes together for Macy and the two kidnappers he hires in a plan that goes...let's just say awry. It's a movie that spruces itself up with interesting characters and brutal crime to make for a really engaging movie. McDormand does a fine job making a folksy, but effective detective that is enjoyable to see figure out the pieces in such a bizarre case. I don't know why, but the first scene with her (alongside Lynch) having breakfast and then leaving for work is one of my favorites, mainly because it isn't just a normal eat and go kind of scene, it feels very regular (of course, the scene ends with her needing the car to be charged, but with the setting it makes sense).
Macy does a fine job in such a panicky role of a man that tries (and fails) to make the best out of the situations he has gotten himself into. I especially like when he is trying to explain a (deliberate) mistake he made with regards to filing on forms (by smudging the numbers). You can see the desperation and the ways he tries to wiggle out, even with all the pleasantries exchanged between the two. Buscemi and Stormare have their own quirks as well, even if they aren't as pleasant as the rest of these "Minnesota nice" characters. I especially like the scene where Buscemi's character is trying to get Stormare to talk during their trip to Minneapolis. Maybe it's just the fact that he is doing this on a trip to kidnap someone, or the fact that I can relate trying to make conversation on a driving trip because I (admittedly) did that while my dad and I drove up to Oregon a few years back (though at least my trip did not end with...you know). Buscemi is the more talkative villain, but Stormare really does a good job of silent force that is probably the more efficient killer. On the whole, this is a movie that feels original because it does what it wants to do that utilizes dark comedy to great effect to make for a riveting, but still enjoyable flick.
Overall, I give it 10 out of 10 stars.