I had heard of Fargo for years now, only knowing something about a wood chipper, and let’s just say, it wasn’t because someone was doing lawn work. I’ve been meaning to see it for years now, and finally well over two decades later, I had my chance. I was delighted to learn William H. Macy was a leading actor in the movie, I’ve enjoyed him a lot as Frank Gallagher in the American TV series Shameless. But how was Fargo?
The movie starts with Jerry Lundegaard, a upper-middle class guy who has a great wife, an imperfect but decent son, and a wealthy father-in-law. But for whatever reason, Jerry is in a bit of a pickle. Due to some bad choices, he’s in a desperate need for some dough, and it’s a lot of it that can solve his little problem.
One of the mechanics that works at the car dealership he’s the manager of tells him about two guys named Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud. They talk about a plan that seems harmless enough. Jerry’s wife Jean will be taken from her home, and Carl and Gaear will take what they wanted from the pockets of Jerry’s father-in-law Wade Gustafson.
But when the plan goes wrong, Gaear ends up murdering a few people as a result. This brings the case to the attention of the policewoman Marge Gunderson. She’s not particularity intelligent (though not dumb), not very skilled or athletic, and not super-strong either. She also doesn’t realize how the cases are all connected to just one man. Will she be able to solve the case before the mess escalates even worse?
Overall I really liked Fargo, though I was a just a hair from loving the film. The direction and acting is pretty darn good, and the movie flows really easy and luckily they didn’t bother making it two hours long, which I think often adds filler, thus unneeded boredom to many movies. Fargo made a decent splash at the Oscars in 1997, and I wanted to see Frances McDormand’s role as she won the Oscar for Best Actress for the year of 1996. While I didn’t really see much of her competition that year, I’d assume it was a weak year or so because her role here is much less memorable than her later win for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.