Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Moment I Fell For... Frances McDormand

While it's true that I worship every single second of McDormand's performance here in Fargo and could've just posted the first frame of her in the movie, there is something special about this scene in particular... it's pretty much out-of-nowhere, but fills in so much of her character that it's impossible to imagine Margie feeling as rich, as human, as she does without it. It's four minutes of the film that could've easily been cut out and no one would've been the wiser - it has no bearing on the central action of the story whatsoever - but when it comes down to Marge's speech at the end, with the horrors she's witnessed, and she questions the morality of the world she lives in... well it's hard not to think back on her minuscule rendezvous with temptation and how easily she slipped free. That's cuz she's motherfuckin' Marge Gunderson, and she's better than that, eh.


Joe Reid said...

I'm pretty sure it was on the Donnie Darko extended cut commentary track where Richard Kelly told Kevin Smith that he felt Cherita Chen was the Mike Yanagita of his movie -- that seemingly superfluous character who ends up being so integral to the story from the sidelines.

Of course, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but still. I know things!

Jason Adams said...

Chut up!

Mike said...

I think Mike Yanagita isn't even necessarily on the sidelines.

Back when the Fametracker message boards were still extant (*sniff*), someone posted this really idea that Fargo was an anti-noir. It's set amid lots of snow, the detective is a pregnant woman and not a hard-drinking chain-smoking guy. And Mike Yanagita is the femme fatale: he misleads the hero, and in misleading actually points the hero towards the truth.

Specifically, I think Marge had never encountered deception like that before -- even though she's a policewoman. And having her world rocked by the subsequent phone call that reveals all of Mike's lies makes her re-investigate Lundegaard and other aspects of the case.

I love this movie a whole lot.

Stacie Ponder said...

It's just such a great effing scene in a beyond-great effing movie. McDormand is just PERFECT.

Word verification is HYPNOCEL. Isn't that a sleep aid or something?

Joe Reid said...

By the same company who makes Teamocil, to be sure.

Mike, that totally makes sense and is pretty much in line with how I've always watched that scene. "Sidelines" I guess wasn't the write word.

And, as ever, this scene brought us "You're such a super lady!" which even now will pop up in every day conversation.

Anonymous said...

Oh, god, I just saw this movie like a week ago and I love it. Marge Gunderson = <3

Also, Steve Buscemi's penis.