Why ‘Fargo’ Franchise Is Both Necessary and Rare

The 1996 film “Fargo” captured something too often missing from American film culture—a portrait of what flyover country actually looks like and how it operates.

It lovingly presents normal people as they encounter (maybe) evil but certainly bad decisions and stupid mistakes. It traffics in the tropes and pitfalls of pursuing the American Dream in what became, 20 years later, recognizably Trump’s America.

Like a William Faulkner short story, the film threads the needle along a border hem between affection and ridicule—and yet stays just this side of rejecting the idea of hope.

Marge Gundersen (Frances McDormand, “Raising Arizona“) and her husband (the rightly named ‘Norm’), represent normal people who want to live normal lives. They don’t understand against...

Proper Review
Jan 16th 2022
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