Fargo

"Essential"

Fargo Review


The Coen brothers are back and in a big way. Bigger, as a matter of fact, than ever before, because with Fargo, the Coens have produced a masterpiece of a film that outclasses anything they've done yet--from Raising Arizona to Barton Fink to even Blood Simple, the movie that put them on the map. Fargo is perhaps the best movie to come down the pike since Pulp Fiction--so good that it earns my seldom-awarded five-star rating.

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.



Fargo

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th April 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $60.6M

Budget: $7M

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Working Title Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 79 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard, as Marge Gunderson, as Carl Showalter, as Gaear Grimsrud, as Jean Lundegaard, as Wade Gustafson, as Scotty Lundegaard, as Irate Customer, as Norm Gunderson, Sally Wingert as Irate Customer's Wife, Steve Reevis as Shep Proudfoot, as Mike Yanagita, as Stan Grossman, Kurt Schweickhardt as Car Salesman, Larissa Kokernot as Hooker #1, as Hooker #2

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.