Film: Fargo

Frances McDormand as Sheriff Marge Gunderson. Uploaded by destgulch.com

Frances McDormand as Sheriff Marge Gunderson. Uploaded by destgulch.com

No one who’s seen this film will ever look at a wood chipper the same as before. You betcha.

It’s a movie that begins by claiming it’s “based on a true story,” then concludes by saying all persons and events are fictitious. It follows Brainerd, Minnesota sheriff Marge Gunderson as she unravels a kidnapping that evolves into a series of murders. Marge is very pregnant, and in one outdoor scene she thinks she’s going to be sick. She bends down, but then after a few moments straightens back up. “Well, that passed,” she said. “Now I’m hungry again.”

William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard. Uploaded on Flickr by hypostylin.

William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard. Uploaded on Flickr by hypostylin.

I think it would have been entirely appropriate to cite the upper Midwest Scndinavian accent as one of the film’s co-stars. The movie would  have been lame without the frequent “ya” and “you betcha” and “the heck do you mean” throughout.

Frances McDormand and William H. Macy were familiar faces as secondary characters before Fargo, but they were unbelievably good in this movie that turned around both their careers. Marge Gunderson and Jerry Lundegaard are two of the most memorable characters in recent movie history, and the Coen Brothers did a brilliant job putting those fabulous words in their mouths.

Fargo was nominated for seven Academy Awards, won two (Best Actress – McDormand and Best Original Screenplay), and Joel Coen won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.

If you’re squeamish, or want to avoid language problems, better watch this one on TV where it’s sanitized a bit. This video features the accent that made the film so much fun to watch.

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2 responses to “Film: Fargo

  1. Go Bears. Two Coens movies in the top 100 Great American Things! Let’s just make it a Coens weekend and go ahead and make The Big Lebowski # 100. “Mark it 8, dude.”

  2. You are right, I cannot look at a wood chipper the same. Even when it is on a quaint Ardmore street chewing up leafy green branches, I see snow and blood! Ya.

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