My favorite Coen Brothers film. It's basically a "simpler" version (otherwise peaceful Midwest, rather than brutal Texas) of No Country for Old Men — the sheriff/chief can't believe what the world has come to, and it hurts their chances at solving the case until they can get past that.
t all starts with Carter Burwell's music that build up and drags me directly into the film. Then I fall for the quirky characters, the acting, the intricate plot, surprising twists and it's believable but darkly funny ending. I do feel sorry for Jerry Lundegaard in the end who only tried to earn himself some money.
With leitmotif its aphasic dialogue, this tragicomic scrutiny constructs and transcend its own dsitantiation device and manages to created human-all-too-human characters/puppets, where the utterance "yeah" transforms language into self-referential emptying of meaning. As empty signifiers characters are momentarily redeemed in Marge's loving utterance 'Norm', in what is maybe one of the greatest feminist scenes ever!
I'd hard-pressed to name a film from the Coen Brothers' catalog more tightly and carefully crafted than "Fargo." While it's easy to latch onto the moments that poke fun at Midwestern stereotypes and have a bit of a laugh at the expense of Minnesota residents, at its heart I still see this as a story about how oftentimes the most modest and "simple" people are the only force for good in a world of limitless evil.
Essential cinema. The Coen Brothers usual mix of dark comedy, bloodshed and the macabre reached an early crescendo with this enthralling pleasure. Oscar winning scripting and near perfect casting along with their standard visual mastery have made this a modern classic. McDormand in her Oscar winning turn is magic as is the rest of the cast with their regional characterizations.
"So, that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money? There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it."
The Coens flirt with not being nihilists. This was made when the brothers were still exacting regionalists and the flat, snow-covered Minnesotan landscapes seem at once to reflect the flattened moral terrain of the films' villains and offer an unblemished canvas upon which sin is marked. 'For a little bit of money' is a reductive view of crime and its causes, but the film makes a good case for pragmatic optimism.