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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> August 2000 >> Blood Simple

Blood Simple

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
5 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
August 2000
IMDB Name:
Blood Simple (1984)
Joel Coen
crime, drama, suspense
MPAA Rating:
R for violence and language.

Dark Red

It's all well and good to call a movie Blood Simple, but actually keeping it simple is another matter. The Coen Brothers, here in the infancy of their filmmaking, have crafted a wild story of miscommunication and misinterpretation. Keeping track of who knows what is sometimes a little trying. Watching the characters stumble with absolute sincerity through what would be considered the dread "Idiot Plot" in a lesser movie is a thrill. These people aren't saying much because that's the way they are, not just the way the script wants them to be. The predicaments that they get in, especially Ray's, are at the darker end of the comic spectrum.

None of this would work if the actors couldn't convince us of who they are. Blood Simple is packed with great character actors, most of whom have gone on to greater fame. Frances McDormand made her feature debut here, but went on to great acclaim in Fargo. M. Emmet Walsh is terrific as the private investigator asked to do something more. Not only does he have the right face to wear that suit and hat, but he throws in some distinctive touches like that horrible laugh. Dan Hedaya had just started his stint as Nick Tortelli on "Cheers", and the character is almost exactly the same. Heck, even his recent turn in Dick wouldn't be too out of character reciting the same dialogue.

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Copyright 2000-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.