• Her role in Burn After Reading always struck me as cruel, particularly the scene where the surgeon is marking all the ways she can be “improved” with plastic surgery. I’m sure many actresses would be bothered by that, given it’s their own body being picked apart, but to have your husband write that scene? Ouch.

    (And [checks article] Joel may not have even meant any of that, but I’d be worried if this was some subconscious way of him telling me that I’m old.)

    • I have to confess that I did not care for Burn After Reading the one time I watched it. I since found a cheap copy in a sale and have meant to try it again, but I did not like it the first time. I just don’t think I’m a huge fan of the Coens’ pure comedies, with a few exceptions.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Whew, nice to see someone who feels the same way. Something about the pure cynicism of them bothers me – there’s always an aspect of them that I adore (like Brad Pitt in Burn for instance) but I never embrace them fully.

        • (I’m not even a big fan of The Big Lebowski.)

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            WHOA. I can’t go there.

          • Son of Griff

            Well, that’s just like, your opinion, man.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        I really like the Coen Brothers’ comedies in general (and certainly The Big Lebowski), but I didn’t really care for Burn After Reading either. It just felt kind of empty to me. Many @conormalcolmcrockford:disqus is right about the cynicism; everyone in it is venal and dumb to some degree, in a way in which Coen Brothers movies usually find at least some affection for their characters.

    • I go the other way on that–McDormand strikes me as such a confident person that she wanted to send herself up as much as anyone else in the movie. Given how much Clooney, Malkovich, Pitt, Swinton, etc. are going crazy here, it would feel wrong for her to hold back. (Her reading of “That’s fantastic“–that’s fantastic.)

      • DJ JD

        Late to the game, but I’m with this feller. I assumed that Joel was having some fun needling his wife a bit, and that they were all laughing their heads off filming those scenes.

  • HypercubeVillain

    McDormand and Marge are just the greatest, and while it’s always a pleasure to see her pop up in a film (Transformers was…unexpected), I hated how little screentime she got in Hail Caesar.

  • Norm not even on screen that much in Fargo, but that relationship is what makes entire movie work. You need that glimpse of peaceful domesticity to balance out everything else, and show you exactly why Marge would still be trudging through snow to track down killer in third trimester.

  • You mention McDormand’s work with Coens, which is obvious starting place, two favorite roles of hers besides Fargo are non-Coen movies. Almost Famous, in which she keeps story grounded just as expertly as she does in Fargo with much less screen time; and Laurel Canyon, when after years filling “middle-aged woman” slot in Hollywood, she gets to play sexy libertine, and just kills it.

    • I honestly really dislike Laurel Canyon; I have friends who grew up with that kind of parent, and they’re all horribly scarred by it. But, yes, I should have talked more about Almost Famous.

      • Me really not see that movie as celebrating that kind of parenting.

        • No, but it’s hard to get into a movie when you keep thinking, “Man, she reminds me of so-and-so’s HORRIBLE SELFISH MOTHER.”