We here at Midwestern Gothic are pretty film-crazy, so in honor of last night’s 83rd Annual Academy Awards Ceremony, we figured we’d list out our top ten favorite films set in the Midwest. Here they are (in no particular order):
THE VIRGIN SUICIDES – A hauntingly beautiful film with a kick-ass soundtrack by one of the world’s best bands (at least, in Rob’s opinion), Air.
FARGO – A classic film by the Coen Brothers that shines a (much-deserved?) spotlight on the most northern of the Dakotas. Plus, you’ll never look at a woodchipper the same again!
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF – It’s like John Hughes channeled James Joyce’s Ulysses in this day-in-the-life tale that charts a witty, philosophical grifter named Ferris, his best friend and girlfriend, and all the trouble they get in. A wonderful postmodern study of burgeoning adulthood set in and around Chicago-land.
JUNO – Love it or hate it, it made Minnesota cool (sort of). Plus, it spawned a whole lexicon of new, hip (and oftentimes annoying) phrases. Wizard!
GRAN TORINO – Clint Eastwood loves playing crotchety old men (since, you know, he is one), and boy does he bring the crotchety to this film. Ultimately it would’ve been nice if, you know, he got to blow some baddies away at the end, but it makes for a more poignant film this way, we suppose.
WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE – Leo DiCaprio in a star-making turn as the slow brother of brooding Johnny Depp in this Iowa-set dramedy (or is it comurama?) makes it too good to pass up.
ROBOCOP – True, it may not shine a positive light on Detroit, but how can you go wrong with a half-man/half-machine police robot programmed to clean up the crime-ridden streets of Future Detroit once and for all? Answer: You can’t.
8 MILE – Wait, Eminem can act? Seriously? Apparently, yes, and the film, set in Detroit, was his love story to the Motor City.
WINTER’S BONE – Okay, so this one was up for an Oscar this year, but what can we say? It’s a captivating backwoods tale set in the Ozarks about a young girl caught up in the meth-related hijinks of her dear ole’ dad. Plus, the girl in question, Jennifer Lawrence, is playing Mystique in the new X-Men film, so it’s a win-win. Go nerds!
AMERICAN PIE – Silly, yes, but it did for a new generation what the likes of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dazed and Confused did before, only this time with a Michigan-spin on it.
Like? Dislike? Did we miss some good ones? Comment below!