Fearless.

2 Sep

I’m reposting this piece from almost exactly two years ago, not because I think we need more debate about reproductive rights, but because I’ve had time to reflect on a thing or two and because this filmmaker is generating more awards buzz. I’ve added a few notes, in italics, at the end of the piece. Oh, and happy Labor Day! Ha!

Confessions of a Movie Queen

In 1996, Frances McDormand earned a well-deserved Best Actress Oscar for bringing to life one of the most original characters in recent memory (or what seemed like recent memory 15 years ago, but I digress), and that would be Fargo‘s plucky, pregnant Sheriff Marge Gunderson.  McDormand’s Marge is simply irresistible: pleasant disposition, empathic when necessary, determined, acute ability to analyze a crime scene and form an accurate hypothesis, handy with a weapon, and, of course, there’s that cute Minnesotan accent. Oh ya. McDormand is so absolutely perfect in the role that it’s inconceivable to think of anyone else playing it; moreover, the cultural impact of the character was/is so strong that I think McDormand would have won the Oscar no matter what year Fargo had been released, as evidenced by the fact that her Sheriff Gunderson was named #34 on the American Film Institute’s list of 50 Greatest Heroes.

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