Fargo

Fargo. First off, how is this movie 19 years old now? Second, it’s great. Some of the gee-golly-dontcha-know Midwestern charm doesn’t age as well, but it does a wonderful job of nudging these great characters along, and switching between their scenes. McDormand and Macy are geniuses. I realized when watching this time that Stomare’s Grimsrud character is something of an early variation of Waingro, and anticipates their own rendition of Chigurh, too. As for the based on a true story part:

If an audience believes that something’s based on a real event, it gives you permission to do things they might otherwise not accept.

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson is simply not my director. When I wrote about Bottle Rocket, I had the thought:

I wonder if I’d like his movies more if I’d seen them as serials?

I wonder about this because the structural repetition really wears on me over the course of a movie. Repetitive framing, symmetry, truck here, pan there, dolly now and then. It’s like a slideshow sometimes. I respect the precision and fastidiousness, but for most of it I just couldn’t sustain an emotion beyond “that’s kinda neat”. Because I have no heart, basically. Or I don’t function well with magical realism. Or because the script is on the bad side, and while there’s invention, there are no surprises. Everything tidy, labeled, anticipated. It’s not terrible, though. Just frustrating. I did LOL on multiple occasions. And using The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra to open the movie, and then mirroring that work, was clever. Kids run away (main theme), then we follow reactions by the group of scouts, the scout leader, the cop, the parents, and social services (variations). My rankings for Anderson’s films that I’ve seen:

  1. The Darjeeling Limited
  2. The Royal Tenenbaums
  3. Moonrise Kingdom
  4. Bottle Rocket
  5. Rushmore