#153: Fargo (1996)

When and how did I watch this?

January 15th, 2016, on Hulu Plus.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Coen Brothers film.  I also remember hearing of this film on TV, but like Trainspotting, it didn’t seem to be a movie of my taste at 15 years old. I figured this would either be an O Brother, Where Art Thou, or a No Country For Old Men, and I was really hoping for the former.

What do I know about it now?

It fell right between those parameters, for me.  I fell in love with the characters early — not who they are, but what they are.  They’re colorful, strange, and all human. The officer (the actress I’d seen early on), seemed at first very plastic, but once I got past the North Dakota accent, she became really endearing to me, and I felt sorry for her as she got closer to the terrible truth of the murders and the setup. Macy is excellent as well — he’s awesome in every movie of his I’ve seen.

One particular aspect that made this film “great” had nothing to do with the film itself.  It is stated at the beginning that this is a “true story”.  I was led to believe this the entire film, and was horrified by how things went down.  Afterward, I did some homework and discovered the Coen brothers had lied to our faces.  I was appalled at first, and then felt myself kind of accept this, laughing at how I was deceived, and realizing the movie became that much more intense simply because I believed it.

The cinematography was nothing special, and the dialogue sometimes wandered and felt out of control.  Colorful language seemed to be inserted just to add some exclamation marks to otherwise boring conversation.

What are some themes in the film?

Marriage, murder, money.  This film didn’t really explore much — it was just a goofy cop/criminal movie.

Did this affect me personally?

Not really.  The contrast of color in the wood chipper scene was interesting and memorable.

Why is this ranked #153?

Probably because it’s the Coen brothers, Steve Buscemi, and overall it’s a lot of fun.  I think it’s ranked too high, personally.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She was sorta turned off by it.  This is definitely a dude movie.

Would I watch it again?

It would be challenging to give it another spin. At least it has a “happy” ending, which would help me know that everything turns out alright, sorta.

Would I recommend it to a friend?


Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Maybe.  I feel like I’m missing something here.  Is this a comedy?  Drama? A life lesson about marriage and faithfulness? Perhaps the appeal has to do with the deception going on with the “true” story.  In the end, I’m really not sure what it’s about, and for all of the great films on this list it’s much more obvious.

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