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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Bruce Campbell, William H. Macy
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Joel & Ethan Coen
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
98 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Gramercy Pictures
 "Fargo" Review 
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When The Coen Brothers released "Fargo" in 1996, the film immediately became a critical darling and initiated another wave of obsession with independent films in America.

The film centers on a man, Jerry, in a desperate financial situation (William H. Macy) who, out of desperation, pays two men to kidnap his wife and hold her for a ransom to be paid by his rich father-in-law. Of course, Jerry isn't the brightest man and neither are the kidnappers and a simple plot turns into murder and mayhem.

The case is investigated by the pregnant, no nonsense sheriff (Frances McDormand) and soon Jerry's life goes from bad to worse.

"Fargo" is, undoubtedly, a consummate dark comedy with an amazing authenticity to the Minnesota area and with one of the sharper, more intriguing scripts produced in many years. The film ended up with several Oscar nominations, including for Macy (Supporting Actor), Direction (Coen's), and Cinematography (Roger Deakins). Indeed, it is largely the cinematography that truly manifests this film great feeling and authenticity. Deakins uses perfect angles and colors and shots throughout the film in capturing the action.

Ultimately, however, the film works because of the sharp writing of the Coen Brothers and their Oscar winning script, along with the pitch perfect Oscar winning performance of Frances McDormand.

While "Fargo" is a great film, it has never been a film with which I feel a great bond. I've admired it, respected the work and yet at no point in my life do I ever think to myself "Hmmm. I want to see Fargo again." For me, an A or A+ film is one that never leaves me. It makes me want to revisit it even if I never do. It invades my psyche on a certain level and never completely goes beneath the surface. "Fargo", as wonderful as it was, is a film I will never again need to revisit.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

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    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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