Thursday, 17 December 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 93

198 - Fargo - 3 stars
In preparation for Dudestock I decided to watch a Coen Brothers film and picked the first film of theirs that I ever saw and the first to get them attention on the Awards circuit (culminating in Oscars for McDormand and screenplay and a BAFTA for director Joel).
This fake 'true' story about a kidnapping that goes horribly wrong could have become horribly cliched, but the strength of Fargo, and indeed all of their films, is the quality of their writing and the characters they create, even the seemingly minor ones have great depth and charm.
Sometimes when watching Coen brothers flms, they remind me of a great theatre company. They write, produce and direct the shows themselves, and have a great team of regular actors to work with; McDormand, Buscemi, Tuturro, Goodman, etc and can pull in a big name star when the role calls for it (Clooney, Pitt, etc). I guess you could liken them to Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre company.
So despite appearing in several of their films already, actors like McDormand and Buscemi bring a new spin to their characters.
Frances McDormand is adorable as Marge Gunderson, dealing with a pregnancy and a triple homicide, "Yah, oh yah".
Buscemi is equally funny and (purposefully) irritating in the role that would forever caused him to be described and typecast as "kinda funny looking".
It feels like Fargo in Aberdeen at the moment, with us being completely submerged in snow. Might see old Marge out and about, Yah, but unlikely to find any bags of money though :(

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