Saturday, April 9, 2016

                                    Fargo is a Comedy
My brother-in-law and I were discussing our favorite comedy movies recently. He mentioned Austin Powers, I mentioned Naked Gun among others. I also mentioned Fargo. My brother-in-law gave me a puzzled look and said, “Fargo isn’t a comedy”. That’s not the first time someone has said that to me. After a bit of convincing on my part, he eventually conceded that Fargo is a comedy, but should be classified differently from the aforementioned comedies. And I’ll concede that the movie is most definitely a “dark” comedy. So dark that it’s difficult to see the comedy. So dark that you might feel guilty or uncomfortable laughing, which is what makes it so extraordinarily good. But make no mistake; this movie is a comedy first and foremost. I’ve compiled clips from the movie, ranked them in order of “funniest”, and listed them here in reverse order.

Wood Chipper Escape
He’s caught red-handed, confronted with a pistol and a sole policewoman. His escape route? Out into a wide open lake.

3 Cent Stamp
Margie’s a good wife. With all her troubles as a pregnant policewoman she knows exactly what her husband is talking about when he says nothing more than “they announced it”. The humor? I just like the way Norm says “people don’t much use the three-cent”. Well that and the Minnesota dialect. Ok, so this one isn’t exactly hilarious, but we’re at the bottom of my rankings here. It gets gradually better.

Fake Phone Call
After Jerry’s rehearsal of “frantic”,  he calmly asks the receptionist to patch him through. 

We Split the Car
The merciless villain Gaear Grimsrud, who shows nothing but indifference towards anyone but himself throughout the whole movie, is enthralled with the soap opera character’s announcement that she’s pregnant. Then there’s Buscemi – “You should see the other guy” – and his rant about splitting the car. The uploader muddied up this clip with his attempt at political humor, but it’s easily ignored.

Dealer Plates
More dialect and Lou, the doofus cop. “Oh…..Geez”

I’m Cooperating/Fleeing the Interview
After Buscemi, it’s a tie between Macy and McDormand for funniest actors in this movie. They’re paired in this scene, highlighted with Macy’s fidgeting, bumbling and well, just overall acting. “We’re doing all we can”…. “I’m workin’ with ya here”……

End of Story
More Minnesota dialect.

But it’s My Deal Here Wade
“We’re not a bank, Jerry”.
I love the insertion of the irrelevant lines in the script from 1:11 to 1:17
“He’s at North Star.”

I Decided Not to Park Here
I love Buscemi for this movie. Hilarious. So funny in fact, as we move down this list I’ll just say “Buscemi” to describe the humor in the scene.

Full Compliance
The most gruesome scene in the movie and they still manage to insert a humorous nugget. Buscemi’s delivery of the line “Just keep it still back there lady or we’re gonna have to…you know…shoot ya” is the only reason this scene ranks so high on my list. (Is that Lieutenant Dan at 3:27?)

Funny Looking
More Minnesota dialect among other things.

Fountain of Conversation

Buscemi. Well, and the idea for the scene, too.

Mike and Marge
This scene wouldn’t work without the superior acting/facial expressions. Asian dude with a Minnesota accent.

Shot in the Face
Extracting this scene by itself doesn’t do the humor justice. You have to know where it fits in the timeline of the movie. Buscemi’s portrayal of frustration with Jerry’s (Macy) side of the bargain is where the humor lies. “What’s with you people?”

Blood Has Been Shed
Macy. And Buscemi’s voice.
“Who’s Jean?” LMAO. You tellin’ me this ain’t a comedy?

The Meeting
Buscemi and Macy. In the same scene.
This scene is near the beginning the movie. The earliest confirmation that this movie is, in fact, a comedy.

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