When your father-in-law refuses to give you money, maybe the wisest way to respond is not to hire two thugs (Steve Buscemi & Peter Stormare) to kidnap her and ask for ransom. Because as can be seen in Fargo, that can end badly. Very badly, indeed. Still, it’s what Jerry Lundegaard (the male half of the celebrity power couple known as Filliam H. Muffman) does, and when bodies start cropping up, very pregnant Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) is put on the case. That’s when blood really starts staining the snow-covered North-Dakota landscape. It’s gruesome, it’s funny, and it’s maybe the most Coen of movies. If you haven’t seen it, you should, and if you have, I have no doubt you’ll want to see it again.
THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Yet again, the Coens followed up a succesful thriller with a somewhat less succesful comedy. However, despite rather disappointing results at the box-office, the Big Lebowski went on to develop a huge cult following later on, and deservedly. The story of ‘the Dude’ is actually best when you don’t try to follow the story, and just let yourself be swept along by the absurdity: by the bowling-alley dreams, the nihilists, the kidnapping plot gone awry – yes, again. Filled with Coen regulars – John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro) and virtuoso camerawork, this is, above all, a film that’s still funny (if not funnier) the fifth time you see it. So join me for my sixth, and see if it still holds true.