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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> June 2000 >> A Simple Plan

A Simple Plan

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
5 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
June 2000
IMDB Name:
Simple Plan, A (1998)
Sam Raimi
drama, suspense
MPAA Rating:
R for violence and language.

The Right Thing

Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan is a heartbreaking story of people trying to decide what is the right thing to do. Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton star as a brothers who stumble on a fortune in the woods. Keeping the money a secret becomes an enormous challenge as they must think quickly to revise their simple plan as the body count rises. The plot invites debate on how to handle the situation at hand, and mixes in a fair amount of suspense to make for a compelling package. Thornton and Paxton are terrific in the lead roles, but there isn't anyone in the supporting cast that falters. Bridget Fonda plays Paxton's wife, whose suggestions invoke that old maxim about best intentions. Brent Briscoe is fantastic as the Thornton character's best friend, whose temper and crudeness are never far from reach.

The White Thing

A Simple Plan spends a lot of time in the snow, with a feel resembling Fargo. This is no coincidence, since the Coen Brothers shared some of their experiences with Raimi, who has worked with them before, including as a writer for The Hudsucker Proxy. Alar Kivilo's cinematography combines with the eerie and sparsely orchestrated Danny Elfman score to create chills. Having just heard the magnificent excesses of Elfman's score for Sleepy Hollow, his tonality-bending strings here are at the opposite end of the spectrum, but just as appropriate.

DVD Comments

The obvious quip applies: A Simple Plan has A Simple DVD. The disc offers the movie and the trailer. Audio is available in Dolby Surround and Dolby 5.1, but there are no subtitle tracks, a major disappointment. The disc is split into surprisingly few chapters, but the scene selector, as with the rest of the menus, is easy to use.

See the IMDB information on A Simple Plan's DVD or compare prices at DVD Price Search.

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