Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
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
There's a stark, corrosive sadness seeping through A Simple Plan like blood freezing in snow. Upper Midwestern Noir so black and so cold that it could take digits off extremities without any the wiser. The spectre looming above, behind it all is economic collapse: foreclosure, unemployment, neurological difficulty, isolation, loneliness. The people of A Simple Plan are presented directly, warmly, without irony or condescension, so that when the bad stuff starts going around, it hurts and it keeps hurting, a dull ache which sharpens to acuity now and again. Scott Smith adapted his novel into this screenplay, so its voice is both preserved and fluidly translated to the screen. Raimi's direction may be career-best to that point, pulled back behind…
#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…
You work for the American dream, you don't steal it.
Like Fargo without the dark humor, A Simple Plan is a lean, emotional and morally complex tale of backwoods classicism. It's Raimi at his most restrained, rejecting his traditional hyped-up camera movements and comical effects, and instead creating living, thoroughly developed characters in genuine ethical conflict. It's an authentic and believable exploration of the events that would follow three ordinary guys finding 4 million dollars with no strings attached, lacking the hyperbolic reactions and dramatic fluctuations that plague so many films trying to tell the same story. It's a story of bending values, flexible convictions and tenuous trust, set against the general thematic elements of greed, horror, guilt and murder.…
"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,…
Scavenger Hunt 16
8. A movie set in the mountains or in a cold place.
J’avais déjà vu « A Simple Plan » il y a quelques années (peut-être 10 !), mais de là à dire que je me souvenais bien du film, il y a un pas que je ne franchirais pas.
Le film est très prenant, car il y a des rebondissements toutes les 10 minutes !
Les deux Bill sont comme d’habitude très bons acteurs, en n’oubliant pas Bridget Fonda dont la scène a l’hôpital m’a mis les poils tant elle cache terriblement son jeu.
La photographie accuse un peu son âge aujourd’hui, mais la mise en scène n’en reste pas moins efficace.
Un bon "polar" à regarder en plein hiver, la cheminée allumée.
The "love of money is the root of all evil". Guilt and shame are weighty emotions to carry in this powerful demonstration through film. Do you feel evil?
Who would have thought there was more than one 90s crime film set in wintry Minnesota and featuring a pregnant woman?
This was a very frustrating film. You just wanted to yell at the characters "Don't do that!" Though that might have been part of the point of the movie, it almost hurt the film. But the ending to this film was really powerful and helped boost my rating up to four stars.
Like FARGO sans the irony and eyebrow raising. Vicious and corrosive, wonderfully acted. A little overly spelled out, but the familial corrosion and the mounting dread makes the one-dimensional take-away a fun ride
I wasn’t that impressed with the early Sam Raimi films, the ‘postmodernist’ comic horror (or are they horror comedies) and the spaghetti western, but A Simple Plan got a lot of praise on its release and it sounded as though it was my sort of film: a thriller, but Raimi had replaced his usual cartoonish characters and situations with well motivated characters and narrative. But, having seen it twice now, I remain slightly disappointed. It is well written, well acted, a good situation, but... Hank Mitchell (Bill Paxton), his simple minded brother Jacob (Billy Joe Thornton) and Jacob’s friend Lou Chambers (Brent Briscoe), come across a crashed light airplane in the winter woods: the pilot is dead, but there is…
A Cinematic Journey Through the USA - with Gareth Higgins from "Movies & Meaning".
Film #17 - from Minnesota.
The movie begins with Hank reflecting on the simplicity of happiness: "When I was still just a kid, I remember my father telling me what he thought that it took for a man to be happy. Simple things, really. A wife he loves, a decent job, friends and neighbors who like and respect him. And for a while there, without hardly even realizing it, I had all that. I was a happy man".
But from this point on, It is a downward trip to hell. Devastating in its tragic portrayal of the Biblical adage "the love of money is the root of…
"Hank, do you ever feel evil? I do."
Taking a step back from his horror roots, Sam Raimi successfully tells a story of corruption, murder, and love. Bill Paxton come out on top as he was the true planet in this film and gives his all out performance. Billy Bob was kinda weird but completely necessary and a great edition. The script is so clever and kept me intrigued throughout. The score especially helps during intense scenes or simple ones, it's so calm but corrupt. The set pieces are great and really has a cool edge to the film. Also I had no idea what was going to happen.
With incredible performances Raimi's trademark editing and with a narrative thats unpredictable as is dark.
A sparse, frosty and mostly riveting crime drama that occasionally becomes emotionally alienating. It too often strays away from exploring the greater impact of the devastation caused by the unraveling of relationships. It's content at just displaying these events rather than convincingly conveying them. This had the potential to be more than it was considering its sleek and competent presentation, but it's just too sterile for its own good.
It does feature Bill Bob Thornton sporting one of the best winter looks commited to celluloid though, so that's a plus.
Overweight, loveless, wood paneling, empty parking lots, basements, loners, madness, sadness, isolation, depression, fantasy, eccentric, filth, sleaze...
Charlie Kaufman, Todd…