"So, uh, you married old Norm son-of-a-Gunderson?"
Wholly original and absolutely fantastic.You've never seen a movie like Fargo. You'll see movies that evoke Fargo, movies that try to aspire to be like Fargo, but trust me, this is something very special and very rare.
It's not a conventional drama or black comedy or thriller. It's all of those, rolled up into a quirky firecracker of a film, and it works.
I'm not going to touch on the plot. It's an interesting story with just enough turns to keep you interested and I don't want to spoil it for you. So I won't. I couldn't really do it justice anyway. But here's what you need to know. The heroine (if you can call her that) is a policewoman named Marge Gunderson (Oscar winner Frances McDormand). She's pregnant. If having a pregnant woman as a hero cop isn't quirky, I don't know what is.
Things to notice: the performances. Obviously, McDormand, and William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard, one of the men Marge will end up investigating. McDormand doesn't play Marge as the doofus one would expect Hollywood perceives rural Americans as. She's smart, she's sly, and she's not nearly as unassuming as you'd think her to be. The fact that she's pregnant makes no bearing on the kind of cop she is, it just offers a little bit of levity. Macy is the man, though. As Lundegaard, Macy is nerves a-plenty. He's quiet and almost unassuming at the film's open, but that changes as the movie goes on. He's probably one of the finest actors working today. The interrogation scene between Marge and Jerry ("He's fleein' the interview!") is a riot.
Beautifully photographed (thank you, Roger Deakins) and marvellously acted, this is a Coen Brothers movie that plays it pretty close to the vest. It's not an obvious movie, and it shouldn't be.
I've said it before: you've never seen a movie like Fargo. You may never see one like it again. It works on so many levels, but to truly appreciate it and understand it, it takes multiple viewings. Trust me, it's worth it.Darn it, ma'am! I'm cooperatin' here!