The Twin Geeks 118: Fargo (1996)

As a key solidifier of their early reputation, the Coen Brothers’ dark comic masterpiece enjoys a lauded reputation for its unique setting, memorable characters, and unequal blend of macabre drama and brilliant comedy. Fargo is perhaps the most prominent flagship of the brothers’ filmography, standing as not only their earliest and most prominent success, but perhaps the most enduring as well. Few films manage to inhabit such a singular sense of locale, the duality of desolation and warmth of upstate Middle America, with such brilliantly contrasting elements of delight and despair. The Coen’s expertly employ this environment as an expression of those battling poles: the cold and unforgiving landscape a manifestation of depraved criminality while simultaneously projecting a bright and welcoming sense of character through the reflective beauty of its surroundings. Carrying these superlative elements are the iconic characterizations of both William H. Macy as a hapless car salesman and Frances McDormand as the pregnant police officer Marge Gunderson. These two indelible characters have firmly lodged themselves within the public conscious, standing out as two of the greatest creations to emerge from the Coens’ filmography, and the delightful glue of their atypical American crime comedy classic.

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53:42 Fargo

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