2019 Birthday Favorite #4 – Fargo (1996) – Encore Review 2


Today is my 45th Birthday and I can think of no better way for me to spend this day than to review some of my all-time favorite films.  So sit back and enjoy my thoughts on some of my all-time favorites.

Let’s finish things off with…..Fargo

“OK, so we got a trooper pulls someone over, we got a shooting, these folks drive by, there’s a high-speed pursuit, ends here and then this execution-type deal.” – Marge

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (video, cable, DVD, 30 Jul 2013, 27 Jul 2015 and 8 Jan 2019)

Link to original review –  Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – In order to get money for a business deal, a car salesman hires two thugs to kidnap his wife so he can get the ransom money from her father.

 

If you have never seen this movie, I urge you to stop reading this post, read my two original non-spoiler reviews (linked Here and Here), watch the movie and finally after you’ve seen it, absorbed it and even cheered a bit (I did every time that I’ve watched it) then come back here for a review and analysis full of spoilers.

THis is by far my very favorite Coen Brothers movie.

They get so much right here and even after 23 years and numeorus viewings, this film is a near perfect thriller that knows how the entertain the whole way through.

The mannerisms and speech patterns of the characters are perfectly done so that the story feels very real and very Midwest.

This helps the viewer believe that this could conceivably have happened but due to the ineptibility of just about every character, things got screwed up and didn’t work out.

Frances McDormand (Joel Coen’s wife) is perfectly cast in the lead here and eventhough she only shows up after more than 30 minutes into the film, she definitely is able to carry the weight (pun intended) of the whole story.

Her relationship with her husband is quite sweet, but even as a Sheriff, it is easy to see that she os much more worldly than first impression make it seem.

he is in tune with her community and begins to slowly follow the lead in the murder investigation which eventually allows her to “crack the case” merely by chance.

The idea to make the character very pregnant works so well because we see how devoted a cop she is and also how important it is to her to get her job done even in the late stages of pregnancy.

Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare are both great as small time crooks that are hired to stage this kidnapping and ransom.

It’s so interesting to see that these too characters chose to work together despite the fact that they are both so very different in their personalities and methods.

The scene where Buscemi talks non-stop on their way to the city is a perfect example because Stormare just looks at him like he’s crazy and we can completely understand this due to their differences how much such a thing could annoy someone.

Both of these characters have their downfalls due to the fact that they (like most of the other characters in this film) think that they are smarter than everyone else.

The standout of the whole cats tho is William H. Macy  who plays the character Jerry Lundegaard who’s actions have led to all of the events of the film.

By the end of the film, his poor decision making has led to no less than 6 murders.

He clearly never thought the plan through well enough.

Macy gets the personality of this character perfect and we get a clear picture of what kind of salesman who is by the way that he acts in an early scene; he tells a customer that he is gonna go try and convince his manager to lower the cost of a car and after leaving the room, he talks to a fellow employee about a sports game.

Upon returning to the customer he tells yet another lie which forces the customer’s hand and he ends up buying the car despite being obviously angry at the salesman.

The music score by Carter Burwell is superb and helps get the viewer into the feel of a small time crime thriller even more.

This film’s premise works extremely well the whole way through and keeps things thrilling from start to finish.

The characters are all developed extremely well by their actions and it doesn’t take long to understand that the reason that this film is so perfect is because the characters and situations they get themselves into are so imperfect.

The Coen Brothers have never been better at what they do than in this film.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  While first screening the film, Gene Siskel leaned over to fellow critic and co-host Roger Ebert and said with a smile “this is why we love movies.” Siskel & Ebert went on to name it the best film of 1996. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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