The Movie Fargo - brainerddispatch.com - BRAINERD, MN

Welcome to The Movie Fargo. From Brainerd, MN where it allegedly took place.


Brainerd watertower

Brainerd's Landmark Watertower:
Dey didn't show ya dis here really big watertower dat we're so attached ta in dat der movie, did dey?


Brainerd
We was mentioned in dat der purty littl' National Geographic Magazine ting doncha know. Dey wrote up some nice tings about us and our littl' web site. Ya know, dey sure take nice pitures.
 fargo - the movie
 A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere.

Thursday, March 14, 1996

FARGO

LOS ANGELES TIMES

For most filmmakers, the chillingly amusing body-count comedy that is "Fargo" would be an act of daring. For the writing-directing-producing team of Joel and Ethan Coen, however, it is a welcome piece of retrenchment.

... Though the Coens have built their reputation on quirky characters, with Marge Gunderson, the cheerful, chipper and very much pregnant wife of police of Brainerd, Minn., proud home of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox Babe, they've done something quite special.

Chief Gunderson was created by the Coens specifically for Frances McDormand (she's married to director/co-writer Joel) and they've been rewarded by a a brilliant and unblinking comic performance. Adding a girlish lilt to a board-flat Midwestern accent and a line of patter whose staples include "Thanks a bunch" and "You got that right," the happily married (to a phlegmatic wildlife painter) chief sounds as if her mind were frozen solid. But it's one of this movie's many small jokes that in a scenario heavy with dolts, fools and miscreants, she turns out to be the most competent person around ...

Perhaps because it is their home turf, the Coens know how to skewer their Minnesota compatriots, and much of the fun of "Fargo" is discovering how much humor they can locate in protagonists who have to dress for heavy weather.

As usual, the brothers' brand of fun gives so little away you have to look twice to be sure it's there ... but with the perfect assist from their actors, all of whom are well in on the joke, this affectionate look at the frozen North brings the Coens back in from the cold.


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