Fargo (1996) Review

fargo

Jerry Lundegaard believes he has the perfect crime set up but it was never going to be that simple with the henchmen he hired not being able to carry out the job and a persistent policewoman Marge Gunderson who is very pregnant!

I eventually caught ups with this film last weekend but I have really struggled to get my thoughts together and do this review. So I am going to start off by saying that it must have been the third or fourth time I had tried to watch this film. I never really made it past the first 15/20 minutes, not entirely sure why to be brutally honest. Nevertheless I have persisted with the film. I do believe Three Billboards and seeing Frances McDormand in that pushed me to watch her Oscar-winning role plus this is part of my Best Picture Project!

However, I haven’t found myself a big fan of the Coen Brothers work and I will admit that I really struggled to understand the hype around the film. I guess that is sometimes a really tough thing when a film has been built up so much, that is certainly how I felt about this one.

The kidnapping that has gone very wrong for Jerry as he is willing to have his own wife taken in return for money, I guess desperate times call for desperate measures? I just didn’t find the story engaging enough and therefore missed the whole black comedy aspects of it all. With all that I do know that the Coen’s seem to be a very love or hate them pair when it comes to films. Then the fact that Marge is pregant and still working in the field in that state is pretty extreme.

I can understand the performances from McDormand and even William H. Macy getting a lot of praise as I really did think they were very good in the film. But overall I really was just missing something with this one on the whole, so I would really appreciate it if you are a huge fan of this one that you can tell me why you love it so much. I have tried really hard to watch, like and enjoy it over the years I promise!

Maybe I will have to watch this one again in the future, if I can bring myself to doing that and see if it is better on a second full viewing? If I can manage to do that of course, I can understand how it was a Best Picture nominee as it does have that whole awards feel to it from start to finish.

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15 thoughts on “Fargo (1996) Review

  1. I doubt that repeat viewings will change your mind about Fargo. A lot of what folks love about it are the very specific regional accents and attitudes from Minnesota and North Dakota. Similar to how a lot of us Americans don’t really understand the references in The League of Gentlemen from the UK.

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  2. Fargo is amazing, but I won’t try to convince you of that if you don’t agree. For me, it is the WTF aspect of the film. It is full of seemingly sane people doing incredibly stupid things and badly at that. Everyone just acts really braindead yet from their conversations they are all intelligent, rational people, or at least most of them fit that description. It is a zany mix that leads to some serious cognitive dissonance – in an entertaining, harmless way. That’s what I love about Fargo

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  3. First of all, its hilarious. The juxtaposition between the horrible crimes and the peopele’s “aww shucks” attitude is pretty great. Second, there’s some thematic depth going on with a ‘good vs evil” idea, but set in a mundane setting. You see different versions of evil and of good play out, but never in a way which hits you over the head.

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  4. Fargo is one of my favourite films! I even used it as one of the films in a course I created for English learners. It’s not easy to understand with the Minnesotan accents but I love the dark comedy elements and Frances brings the house down. She’s amazing in this film!

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