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Director: Joel Coen
Writer: Joel & Ethan Coen
Producers: Ethan Coen
Frances McDormand
William H. Macy
Steve Buscemi
A husband (Jerry) finds himself stuck in a situation where he needs a lot of money. He hires two men (Showalter and Grimsrud) to kidnap his wife, so that he could collect the ransom money from his wife’s father, who is filthy rich. Mayhem ensues, as the husband continues to keep his head above the chaotic water.
I’m a big fan of the Coen brothers, but this film wasn’t anything more than average in my view. The pacing was slow, the accents were overplayed, and many of the scenes seemed to stretch out for more than they needed. The cinematography was really beautiful, as the white landscape of the American North-West’s wintertime complimented the film’s lazy pace, but nice scenery does not a movie make. The acting was also very good by all involved, and especially William H. Macy as the man who thinks he could outsmart everyone, but fools nobody. Steve Buscemi is also very funny as the “funny-looking” kidnapper, and look for Frances McDormand’s Oscar-winning role as Margie the Chief of Police. Overall, the movie’s plot-line is so-so, the acting is above par, the soundtrack is original, and some memorable scenes reside. All in all, it could be considered to be a small little entertaining film, with a slow pace, but definitely not the “masterpiece” that many a critic hailed it during the year of 1996 (I’m talking to you, Siskel & Ebert).
(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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