Fargo (1996)HD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
In Fargo, filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen both embrace and satirize their North Dakota roots. A patrolman and two innocent bystanders are discovered murdered in cold blood on a snowy North Dakota highway, leading very pregnant policewoman Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) on an investigation that uncovers a conspiracy of greed and ineptitude. Minneapolis husband, farther and car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), who has long chafed under the thumb of his wealthy boss and father-in-law, concocts an elaborate scheme involving the kidnapping of his wife and a million-dollar ransom to pay off his extensive gambling debts. However, everything that could possibly go wrong indeed DOES go wrong. Officer Gunderson's outwardly homespun and folksy persona conceals a penetrating mind and a fierce moral compass, and she easily sees through the poorly executed and badly hidden events perpetrated by the bumbling, yet highly dangerous kidnappers (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare). Her hilarious and arresting performance netted her an Oscar, and the Coens were also rewarded with a Best Original Screenplay award.
Murder, Madness and Comedy
This is a visually spectacular and emotionally confronting film that frequently drops dollups of the trademark Coen brothers humour into the viewers lap. Apparently based on a true story. A car salesman unhappy with his nagging wife decides to fake her kidnapping and collect the ransom from his wealthy and disapproving father-in-law. He hires a pair of psychopathic (and not too bright) guys to do the deed and it all goes wrong from there... Frances McDormand plays a heavily pregnant local cop who investigates the rapid spiral of crimes the kidnapping triggers. She's wonderfully folksy but nobody's fool, think female Columbo!
The photography is superb, North Dakota in winter - lots of snow, some fantastically done aerial shots of deserted snow-covered carparks and other places - is made to look almost inviting (but sooo cold!) The violence is confronting, but works well to show the inhuman nature of the criminals.
This is such a clever movie and the performance of Frances McDormand is just brilliant.
A brilliant, funny and thrilling film that sticks in the mind after you've watched it. Just great.