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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

    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
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    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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