Something rotten in the state of Minnesota: or the morality of backwoodsmen: 'A Simple Plan'

Goldsmith, Ben (2000) Something rotten in the state of Minnesota: or the morality of backwoodsmen: 'A Simple Plan'. Metro Magazine: Media and Education Magazine, 121-122, 134-137.

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'A Simple Plan' is a deceptively complex and multilayered film, combining elements of Celtic mythology with the morality play and the windfall fantasy gone disastrously wrong. Despite its blending of realism and heavyhanded symbolism, and its abundant trans-textual gestures, 'A Simple Plan' is in many ways defiantly not a 90s movie: its leading characters are fashionably flawed, but they are neither sensitive, nor honourable, nor heroic; there are no startling special effects or intricate timeshifts; and it desperately gives the impression of depth, of being emphatically more than mere superficial excess. At a stretch it almost appears to be a throwback to the 1930s Production Code emphasis on the role of cinema in moral instruction; while good hardly triumphs over evil, venality is painfully and emphatically punished. But in other ways it is a quintessential late 90s film: an American/British/Japanese/German/French co-production, 'A Simple Plan' acts most palpably as a commentary on the moral, economic and social condition of the United States at the end of the American century.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 50360
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: 20th century cinema, Crime films, Morality, Murder, Raimi, Sam (1959-), Simple Plan, A (1998), Small towns
ISSN: 0312-2654
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 16 May 2012 00:26
Last Modified: 16 May 2012 00:26

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