Listen to our Fargo episode on:
- Google Play
- Player FM
- Pocket Casts
Over the past four decades, The Coen Brothers have proven to be among the most inventive and diverse filmmaking teams in modern cinema. Their movies have taken audiences from depression-era Mississippi to the back street bowling alleys of 90s Los Angeles, all typified by their memorable characters and acutely observed attention to detail. Fargo might well be their most personally successful work, although you could probably find vocal champions for virtually all of their movies.
Set in the chilly climes of the American midwest, Fargo unfurls an unlikely crime story that starts with an inept used car salesman paying some low-rent thugs to fake his wife’s kidnapping and ends with seven people dead – one of whom memorably being partially disposed of in an outdoor wood chipper.
The joy of the film is not so much the plot, which actually plays out in a fairly open-and-shut manner, but the characters and how they interact with each other and their surroundings. The Coen Brothers grew up in Minnesota, and their understanding of the unique dialect and homespun friendliness that typifies the populace makes for some of the sharpest comic moments in the movie. Frances McDormand deservedly won the Oscar for her portrayal of Marge Gunderson, a heavily pregnant and deceptively sharp-witted local police chief. But William H. Macy is on equally career-best form as the over-his-head corrupt car salesman Jerry Lundgaard, surely one of the most enjoyably pathetic characters in film history.
In truth, Fargo doesn’t strictly fit into the format of this podcast, as it’s already inspired a hit TV spin-off (which neither of us has seen). However, with winter rapidly drawing in and the revelation that Harry had never actually seen the film, it felt necessary. Tune into this week’s podcast to hear our thoughts on Minnesota nice, Gunderson relationship goals, the endless joy of watching Steve Buscemi receive physical and verbal abuse and much more, before we pitch our own sequel ideas to catch up with the surviving characters in 2019…
You can download or stream our Fargo episode right now by following the links at the top of this blog post, or by searching for Beyond The Box Set on your preferred podcast app. If you enjoy the show, hit subscribe to receive a new episode every Friday morning, and please consider rating or reviewing us too – it’s the best way to help us to stay high in the iTunes rankings and reach the ears of new listeners.
Next week, we’ll be heading back into the Spielberg catalogue for one of his many collaborations with America’s best loved actor, Tom Hanks. Until then, happy listening and remember – there’s more to life than a little bit of money… don’tcha know that?