Pros:Acting, script, story
Cons:Not more like it! Caution on profanity, there's plenty! Violence strong for young children.
Recommend this product?
Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen had a hit with this plain vanilla slice-of-life from frozen North Dakota. The premise is that truth is stranger than fiction, and "Fargo" amply illustrates this.
In a cast list that reads like a Scandinavian phonebook, William H. Macy plays bumbling car salesman turned criminal "Jerry Lundegaard". "Marge Gunderson" (Frances McDormand) is the pregnant local sheriff who cracks the case, using techniques reminiscent of Peter Falk’s "Columbo".
Dialog consists of a lot of mid-western "Hecks", "Gosh-darns", "ya betchas", and "yer darn tootins’" punctuated by innumerable "yas". You will find yourself snickering at the interchanges between characters, especially if you are also from the frozen North. The small town dialog is quite authentic, and caused me to think of comedians Bob and Doug Mackenzie, which made me giggle even more.
Great support is provided by low-life thugs played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, the kidnappers hired by Macy to kidnap his wife. Macy plans to extort $1,000,000 from his car dealer father-in-law. He promised the thugs $40,000 plus a Ciera to do the job. No harm in making a little profit on the transaction, is there!
Everything begins to unravel for Macy as he is confronted by General Motors about the paperwork on the missing Ciera, and his father-in-law unexpectedly wants to deliver the ransom, personally. When Marge Gunderson comes in to the dealership to inquire about a missing Ciera, Macy almost loses his composure. "Gosh darn it. All right. Heck, if you want to play games, etc., etc". are his nervous responses to her questions.
Meanwhile, the kidnappers, not the sharpest knives in the drawer, have not been idle. In fact, Marge is investigating a couple of bodies that were found up in her neck of the woods, tiny Brainerd, Minnesota. Witnesses remember seeing a tan Ciera in the area. "I don’t think the killers are from Brainerd," she muses.
"Fargo" is unexpectedly funny in a quirky way and pleased me. I do not believe it is the greatest movie of all time as some people have said, but I believe it is good entertainment, especially with no big names and a mosquito-sized budget. What carries the movie is the story and solid acting by the cast. Frances McDormand deservedly won an academy award for her pregnant sheriff, "Marge Gunderson". William H. Macy, as the panicky "Jerry Lundegaard" easily performed as well but did not get recognized.
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