Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A Simple Plan
Sometimes good people do evil things.
Captivated by the lure of sudden wealth, the quiet rural lives of two brothers erupt into conflicts of greed, paranoia and distrust when over $4 million in cash is discovered at the remote site of a downed small airplane. Their simple plan to retain the money while avoiding detection opens a Pandora's box when the fear of getting caught triggers panicked behavior and leads to virulent consequences
#11 of 12 films in my Adapted Screenplay Challenge
Something bothered me as I started to read Scott B. Smith's first novel, the 1993 thriller entitled "A Simple Plan." By the time I finished the first chapter, I knew what it was: the writing style.
To begin, the opening 12 pages have no "hook" to capture and keep the reader's attention. The telling is flat, historical, emotionless. Also, because it is a first-person account of events already long past, there needs to be a reason to like, or at least believe, the narrator. In this case, rural Ohio accountant Hank Mitchell tells us outright that he often acts "without really thinking" and he "had no feel for the weight of…
"Nobody would ever believe that you'd be capable of doing what you've done."
One of Sam Raimi's forgotten gems before he was given the Spider-Man job. A Simple Plan is Fargo without the quirky characters and pitch-black humour but instead you get something, while similar in plot, a lot darker and a little bit more disturbing in it's characterizations.
Perfectly cast, Bill Paxton excels as Hank Mitchell, the small-town gentlemanly nobody and a father-to-be who's temptation for a better existence clouds his usual morally-sound judgement when he finds 4 million dollars in a crashed plane. Soon, under pressure from his mentally-challenged brother (Billy Bob Thornton, brilliant), his drunk red-neck buddy and his manipulating wife (Bridget Fonda), Hank makes a serious…
I miss the days where people like Bill Paxton or Jeff Goldblum or Val Kilmer or Kurt Russell or Sam Neill or Alec Baldwin or Woody Harrelson were all considered leading men. That time was the 90s and I'm nostalgic as fuck for it. Also, awe-inspiring snow photography in this film. No doubt that Raimi consulted with the Coens on some secret pointers. Sure paid off.
Two brothers and a friend take a drive on New Year's Eve. Run down truck. Dog in the back. It's around midday when when they reach a nature preserve. Woods to the left. Farm to the right. One narrow, snow-covered road splitting them up. A fox emerges, fresh out the henhouse, prey in its mouth. The truck swerves, crashes, dog jumps out to chase the critter into the woods and the men follow. An inconvenience, a disagreement, a snowball toss and a discovery...A grand discovery and a morbid one. The plane wreckage is iced over and the pilot is dead, but the duffel bag is untouched. Its contents are toxic: $4.4 million. Grins, laughter, disbelief. The scene is pure fantasy,…
"Everything goes to sleep"
Snow,Manipulation and Guilt combine to create a tense and emotional experience...Billy Bob Thornton does some of his best work here right up there with Sling Blade and Monster's Ball...Never mind the atmospheric resemblance to Fargo this is a solid thriller in it's own right...
A tense film about family, greed, murder and guilt.
It gets too serious and unbelievable as it goes on. It wants me to take a leap of faith which would've been easier to take if it was a little bit less serious in tone. This film would have been brilliant in the hands of the Coen brothers. It replaces their dark humor with heavy melodrama. It's a good movie no doubt but whenever I will want to rewatch this I'll just remind myself I can rewatch something much better, like Fargo or Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood.
I've been wanting to see this one since it first came out as I have vivid memories of the trailer on various videotapes I owned or rented. When I found a copy for a dollar at a pawn shop it was a no brainer. After all the waiting it did not disappoint. Wonderful cinematography, a subtle but unnerving score, and of course great acting by Paxton and especially Thornton. Billy Bob was just on a whole other level in the 90s. I had totally expected one of two possible conclusions but was pleased to see they went in a different more ironicly tragic direction. They don't seem to make em like this anymore do they?
Completely inoffensive mid-period Raimi.
Raimi's touch is never really felt, and the script is wooden, but Thornton turns in a really affecting performance. Just wish this would've ended without the obvious epilogue.
A group of three small-town Americans discover a crashed plane loaded with $4 million that they decide to divide between them. The money soon proves to be more trouble than its worth as it leads to betrayal, jealousy, the unveiling of family secrets, and eventually murder.
Directed by Sam Raimi, A Simple Plan is easily one of his most overlooked films and, from a retrospective point of view, it is also one of his least characteristic. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly one of his best efforts and is a brilliant exploration into good people's capability of committing unspeakably evil acts.
The film maintains a level of suspense that often reaches unendurable levels as the authorities begin to close. The tension is…
"Hank, do you ever feel evil?"
Sam Raimi approximates some of the Coen brothers' style, particularly on Fargo, in this bleak crime drama and the result feels like binging on an entire season of Breaking Bad or Fargo's TV spin-off, all in one go.
Most of the characters are revealed to be terrible people and you never stop wondering if the bounty, a crashed plane full of lost cash, is what corrupted them or if this was always in them, waiting to be awoken. As bad as Bill Paxton's Hank gets, it never stops being shocking when Bridget Fonda's Sarah eggs him on further, any time he looks to her for moral guidance.
Of course, the real highlight is Billy…
For his second go at mainstream recognition after the mixed reception of The Quick and the Dead, Sam Raimi stepped back into the stark clarity of his much pulpier early days to tell a straightforward fable about Bad things happening to Good people. His unaffected touch is there in its first frame: a pitch-black raven cawing against a bleached-white background. From there, Raimi wastes no ground in subtlety, shaking up his black-and-white palette with ominous reds, repeatedly allowing his characters to desperately claim that the snow, in all of its snowy whiteness, will cover up past wrongdoing and let the Good people—if they’re sorry enough—start anew. In that sense, A Simple Plan is as traditional a morality play as a…
A solid thriller,
A nod to film noir, and a
Decent body count.
I recommend you watch this in a triple bill with A Single Man and A Serious Man, inevitably resulting in you and all your friends committing hari-kiri due to immense title confusion.
It's a funny thing when an established auteur decides to restrain their own directorial individualism for a film that turns out to be rather impressive anyway. The Elephant Man and The Straight Story are both critically acclaimed through the roof, but you'll rarely see them at the top of any 'David Lynch Ranked' lists. Same goes for Tarantino's Jackie Brown, even if that does seem to have undergone some notable reappraisal in the past few years. However, I think Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan, a film I had…
This movie is a touch on the slow side, but man is it a good look at what greed and paranoia can do to you. It's definitely got a Treasure of the Sierra Madre vibe and that's a good thing.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
A blend of personal favorites and films that I consider to be the "greatest" (as well as some of my…