A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere.

Crime Drama Thriller
98 min     7.863     1996     United Kingdom


Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start dying. Enter Police Chief Marge, a coffee-drinking, parka-wearing - and extremely pregnant - investigator who'll stop at nothing to get her man. And if you think her small-time investigative skills will give the crooks a run for their ransom... you betcha!


Kamurai wrote:
Great watch, could watch again, and can recommend. It is very sad that this happened to people, but the way the story is told is so good that I felt like that sadness melted away fairly quickly. This movie holds up after 25 years, and it is dated, but with cellphones the story would change dramatically, and that would be a good alternative history subject for a different movie. A great cast, excellent deliveries, an amazing story, and the cinematography is a favorite on this one. The setting of a snowy Minnesota really allows for some great isolation scenes and highlights the "coldness" of the motivations in the story. I think they even summarize the events at one point as "all over a little money", and it's spot on. I can't say that any one thing is spectacular, but everything is done so well, I honestly think this is a great example of how to shoot a movie.
r96sk wrote:
I didn't enjoy is as much as I thought I would, but 'Fargo' is still very good and something I'd obviously recommend. I like the cast here, even if it is a bit of a Frances McDormand carryjob to be honest - she is terrific all the way through, absolutely nailing the role. Steve Buscemi is the star away from McDormand, while I've seen a few glimpses of William H. Macy elsewhere but this is his best showing that I've watched thus far. Peter Stormare is good too. It's an entertaining story, that's for certain! Around 98 minutes was a wise run time call, also. I didn't get that extra little something from it, yet it's a film that I'd more than happily rewatch - largely thanks to McDormand, and Buscemi.
Filipe Manuel Neto wrote:
**An excellent film, although the comedy is so watered down and so sarcastic that it's not funny to most people.** When I saw this movie for the first time, a few years ago, I didn't understand it, and it annoyed me a lot. However, I've always heard good things about it, and after seeing several Cohen films that I liked, I realized the film's potential and decided to rewatch it. I did it at a good time: the film is better than I thought, and I just didn't know how to evaluate it as it deserved. The film begins with a note indicating that it is based on real events. It's a joke, actually, as it's entirely fictional. The story, however, can be based on several crimes, because it's nothing that we haven't seen on some TV news: a man who desperately needs money decides to hire two criminals and fake the kidnapping of his own wife, in order to convince his wealthy father-in-law to pay a fat ransom. It turns out that, as is so often the case in Cohen Brothers movies, things don't go as planned, the criminal duo's control gets out of hand and people start to die, as the local authorities, which practically boil down to a pregnant sheriff and a few colleagues, try to investigate what is going on. The film made a huge sensation among critics and at festivals. It was nominated for several Oscars, but only won two statuettes (Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress). It was also considered by many to be the best film by the Cohen Brothers, a highly relative consideration, which largely depends on the personal taste of the person who claims it. Anyway, it's a good movie, quite tense and dramatic, and where the comedy is in the brutally ironic way in which things happen. Frances McDormand is an actress who deserves particular attention in this film. She's not the kind of law enforcement officer we'd expect to see, because she appears to have a friendliness and sweetness that goes hand in hand with uncompromising law enforcement or even the use of firearms. However, her character does that and is actually very good at following her lead. Another actor to be congratulated is Steve Buscemi. He gives a huge performance, perhaps one of the best of his career so far. Next to him, Peter Stormare gives us the image of a cold and few-spoken criminal, who exerts brutal violence when he gets angry. William Macy is convincing in the role of the car salesman, with a slimy overdose of hypocritical politeness and cowardice. Technically, the film has excellent cinematography, where snow and gray tones are the dominant accent. Interestingly, it seems that a lot of artificial snow was used in the film in order to achieve the icy and inhospitable look that the directors wanted. The sets and costumes are very good, particularly McDormand's costume and her hairstyle. The film uses a lot of very good visual and special effects, particularly in the more violent scenes, like the one where the killer tries to tear his victim apart in a shredder. The soundtrack has one of the most interesting main themes in the Cohens' filmography.
CinemaSerf wrote:
Saw this again recently for it's anniversary, or 4k conversion, - who cares what the reason was, it was just great to see it up on the bg screen again. In my view, it's easily the best of efforts from both the Coen brothers and from the formidable Frances McDormand. Here, she is a pregnant local cop who must deal with a sudden spate of crimes in her magnificently named town "Brainerd". William H. Macy ("Jerry") and the usually under-rated Steve Buscemi ("Carl") add loads to value to this drama that offers an almost perfect mix of sharp and wittily written dialogue, some clever and poignant performances and a storyline that does border on the surreal at times, but then again we are in Minnesota so is it all that surreal at all? The deliberately staccato nature of the dialogue cannot help raise a smile and a cringe - but that is how it is meant to come across. It takes skill to act like these folks do here, dumbing up and dumbing down to order whilst keeping an eye to a vaguely serious series of underlying plot lines... You won't like all of the characters, indeed some people get their well deserved comeuppance but this is still one of the best films from the 1990s and well worth a watch on a big screen if you can.