Why it’s famous:
Perhaps the most witty, eccentric, and puzzling Coen brother movie to exist, Fargo is a classic dark crime comedy that kept its ‘90s audiences captivated with an oddball story line. Brilliantly scripted to add comedic interludes to dark underlying themes, it remains a masterpiece of its genre. In fact, FX currently airs a television series based on the original movie.
Why you haven’t seen it:
If you’ve never given a shot to a Coen brother flick, Fargo seems like just another silly dark comedy with lots and lots of people dying, which isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.
Why it might be tough to get through:
If you’ve never sat through a Coen brother movie you’ll likely feel confused for much of it, wondering what on earth is the point? That’s the beauty of it. There is no point.
Why you should see it anyway:
Fargo brilliantly and subtly tip-toes between dark and absurd, quotidian and bizarre. In a time when comedies tend to be either romantic or obscene, the subtle sarcasm, dark wit, and strong performances of this movie are a welcome contrast. Plus, actress Frances McDormand is an undisputed genius in her role as Marge Gunderson.
Marge Gunderson: Say, Lou, did’ya hear the one about the guy who couldn’t afford personalized plates, so he went and changed his name to J3L2404?
Officer Lou: Yeah, that’s a good one
Jerry Lundegaard: The heck do ya mean?
- The wood chipper used in the movie is now on display at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, a popular tourist attraction in Fargo, N.D.
- Frances McDormand wore a “pregnancy pillow” filled with birdseed to simulate her pregnant belly. She says she didn’t deliberately try to move in a “pregnant” way, it simply came as a natural response to keeping the extra weight balanced.
- None of the movie scenes, either exterior or interior, were actually filmed in Fargo, N.D. The bar exterior shown at the beginning of the movie is located in northeast Minneapolis, Minn.