A Simple PlanDecember 11, 1998
Two brothers and a friend find $4 million in the cockpit of a downed plane. The pilot is dead. No one is looking for the money. To keep it, all they have to do is wait. IT ALL SOUNDED SO SIMPLE…
Release Year: 1998
Rating: 7.6/10 (32,884 voted)
Critic's Score: 82/100
Stars: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda
Three diverse characters, for the most part intellectually challenged, find a deserted plane with a bag full of millions of dollars inside. They devise a simple plan to keep the money if no-one claims it. Ofcourse, nothing turns out simple…
Writers: Scott B. Smith, Scott B. Smith
Billy Bob Thornton
Becky Ann Baker
FBI Agent Renkins
FBI Agent Freemont
Sometimes good people do evil things.
Release Date: 11 December 1998
Filming Locations: Ashland, Wisconsin, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $390,563
(13 December 1998)
(16 May 1999)
Did You Know?
Sam Raimi learned some techniques about shooting in the heavy snow from the Coen brothers, friends of his who had been responsible for
When Hank shoots a chandelier, Jacob can be seen at the left of the screen, recoiling, his hand over his face as bits fly past him. A cut to Jacob, bits still flying, shows him perfectly still, staring down.
He's going to shoot all three of you, as soon as he sees the plane!
Twisted, but exceptionally crafted.
This is not the film to see if you're looking for a feel-good Hollywood
anesthetic to cope with the end of the holiday season. If, however, you wish
to experience a great film, then I highly recommend *A Simple Plan*. Its
disturbing twist on the American dream may be too difficult for
some–especially the very dark ending–but that is part of what makes the
film such quality fare. Scott B. Smith's screenplay is tight and flawless.
Sam Raimi's inspired direction may finally reveal to the rest of the film
industry what fans of the Evil Dead trilogy have known for years: that,
though his tongue is often firmly in his cheek, Raimi is a fine and grossly
underrated filmmaker. Especially impressive is the way he and
cinematographer Alar Kivilo approach the snow-covered landscapes. There is
an immensity to the frozen wastelands of the film's crucial scenes that is
almost worthy of David Lean. Also commendable is Raimi's skillful use of
animals (among them crows and foxes) for symbolic purposes.
But the cast, not to be outdone by their crew, is equally notable. Billy Bob
Thornton gives his best performance to date, surpassing even his
award-winning role in *Sling Blade*. Bill Paxton is phenomenal as a
turned sociopath, and Bridget Fonda's convincing portrayal of Paxton's
determined wife complements him well.
Audiences at the screening I saw were commenting on the film's similarities
to *Fargo* as they exited the theater, and seemed to belittle *A Simple
Plan* for its lack of "originality." Granted, *A Simple Plan* is not
entirely original. There are indeed vague shadows of *Fargo*, as well as
*Macbeth* and Robert Frost, among others. But there is no such thing as an
entirely original work, as great art is made by standing on the shoulders of
giants. Make no mistake, this is NOT a cheap replay of *Fargo*. The
differences are too numerous to note here, but suffice it to say that *A
Simple Plan* is a great work in its own right, and deserves to be
appreciated as such.