A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
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,…
No so simple, huh?
Almost perfect neo noir. Great story. I couldn’t look away
Being an FBI agent is so easy
With his close association with the Coen brothers in his directorial fledgling years, it was not hard to feel Sam Raimi's neo noir film echoed that of "Fargo".
A moral fable of a plot which truly restrict Raimi's brand of film-making (with the exception of the first encounter of the fallen airplane); it really pushed Raimi into full storytelling mode and he excelled seamlessly though I do find the end seems to drag a bit.
The real strength of the film was strong performances from the 3 main characters.
My most memorable impression of Bill Paxton's acting career has to be the hysteria he brought as Private Hudson in "Aliens" and often then not he was cast to over-act and…
What would you do if you found a pile of money? We've all thought about it.
This was a decent spin on that classic scenario.
Masterful. Would be a perfect thriller if the ending wasn't so weak. But just saying that wouldn't bring what the film does right to justice, I mean this movie is simply fantastic. Bill Paxton does his career best here (relative statement, I mean I haven't seen every movie he's been in, I mean who has [second statement; more of a question, does Bill Paxton have like a fanbase or anything? I really don't care, just throwing that out there]). And you know what, Billy Bob Thorton does a helluva good job too. The storytelling is fascinating; while at times a little creaky, for the most part it's superbly clever. Red herrings through the butthole, so many red herrings that you'll…
Solid adaptation of one of my favorite novels. Good performances all around and the story is pure noir. I just wished that the mood was much darker, which the story deserves.
A superbly crafted tragedy from the director of Oz: The Great and Powerful