Fargo

“And I guess that was your accomplice … in the wood chipper.”

There are so many brilliant scenes in this Oscar winner, but the final drive, as pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson brings in the second hitman, crystalizes everything which is perfect about this film.

Marge, as played by Frances McDormand, is pure goodness — one of the very few people in this rogue’s gallery who is not comprised, devious, or downright evil.

As she grapples with the death and destruction which has upended her patch of paradise, and all over “a little bit of money,” it’s pretty near heartbreaking.

 

Blood Simple

Birth of the magic.

Joel and Ethan Coen are my favorite modern-day filmmakers, but it had been a bit since I last saw this gem, their first commercial effort as writer/directors.

Spoiler alert: even better than I remembered.

A down ‘n dirty neo noir, it doesn’t waste a single moment, telling a taut, darkly-funny tale of low-down people doing dastardly things.

What’s better?

Frances McDormand as a tortured cheating wife, M. Emmet Walsh as the sleaziest PI to slide across a movie screen (“I know where you can get those framed…”), or the final needle drop?

Spoiler: it’s all great.