|Gramercy Pictures (I) | Release Date: March 8, 1996||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The fans of their best work -- "Blood Simple, "Raising Arizona," "Barton Fink" -- now can add Fargo to the list, pushing the Coens to the first rank of contemporary American filmmakers. [8 March 1996, Friday, p.B]
As gruesome as Fargo is, the Coens keep us laughing with a Hollywood-centric view of middle America.
It's a miracle: A tough, honest, bloody film set so far from the bright lights it feels as if it's on a different planet, yet knowable and absolutely compelling from start to finish.
The Coens are masters at striking a tone and holding it.
This mordant, macabre look at the American obsession with fast food, television and murder is icily funny.
What mainly registers is the quiet desperation and simple pleasures of ordinary midwestern lives, the fatuous ways that people cover up their emotional and intellectual gaps, and the alternating pointlessness and cuteness of human existence. This may be a masterpiece of sorts, but it left me feeling rotten. Read full review
The Coen brothers wrote McDormands role best. Much of the time they seem to have had Pulp Fiction in their ears--strings of incongruous banalities; but with this pregnant cop, they struck some gold of their own. [March 25, 1996]
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