Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
One film, yes, yet it portrays two very different worlds.
Crazy, uncontrolled violence is set in train by Jerry (William H. Macy), a car salesman who hatches a hare-brained scheme to kidnap his wife and pocket half the ransom money for himself.
The beginning of this killing spree – there are three murders for starters – brings in a vigilant police chief (played by the wonderful Frances McDormand). She is dogged and full of good humour and on the case. Carrying a child, in a loving marriage with Norm, a house husband artist, she has a hinterland.
The art of the film is that you are left at the end with a warm, benevolent glow. You forget how bloody and violent it often was: a body being dismembered in a timberyard, say. And why not? The bad guys have all been caught and a baby will soon be born. Life goes on.