Not-quite-Nordic not-necessarily-Noir?
August 9, 2016 3:05 PM   Subscribe

The TV show Fargo is great. I really enjoy it. But aside from the great storytelling and filmmaking skill, I realized it ticks some boxes that I want more of: 1) crime 2) in flyover country 3) during the winter Can you suggest books, movies, or TV shows that meet these criteria?
posted by Monochrome to Media & Arts (38 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can you clarify if you want only crime set in rural or small town America in the winter or will you accept crime set in rural or small towns worldwide in the winter? I think the former is a very small category and the latter quite a bit larger.
posted by ssg at 3:10 PM on August 9, 2016


Best answer: A Simple Plan (movie)
posted by The Deej at 3:10 PM on August 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Response by poster: A Simple Plan is an excellent suggestion. It's one of my favorites.

For this question I would prefer to stick to America unless you have a recommendation that stands out as amazing.
posted by Monochrome at 3:23 PM on August 9, 2016


Best answer: William Kent Kreuger's Cork O'Connor series.
posted by BibiRose at 3:23 PM on August 9, 2016


Have you seen the movie 30 Days of Night? It's a great vampire flick that takes place in Barrow Alaska after most people have left in advance of the un-rising sun.

(I'm not usually a vampire movie fan, but this one is great, beautiful, and haunting.)
posted by hydra77 at 3:23 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


An oldie but goodie set in a different flyover country -- Smilla's Sense of Snow. Great book, decent movie.

And of course the movie Fargo.
posted by bearwife at 3:28 PM on August 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Best answer: Frozen River and Winter's Bone. (The latter is wintery but not snowy.)
posted by The Deej at 3:32 PM on August 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Longmire maybe.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 3:38 PM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


For this question I would prefer to stick to America unless you have a recommendation that stands out as amazing.

One show that is quite good (although I haven't seen all the episodes) is Fortitude, and it is on Amazon.

Here is the description:
Perched on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Fortitude is one of the safest towns on earth. There has never been a violent crime here. Until now.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:50 PM on August 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Read Snow Falling on Cedars. I hear the movie's good too but the book definitely so.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 3:52 PM on August 9, 2016


Maybe Misery ?
posted by Crystalinne at 4:01 PM on August 9, 2016


Whiteout might work for you.
posted by praemunire at 4:11 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Let Me In, a moody snowy vampire thriller set in New Mexico. The original Swedish version, Let the Right One In, is also excellent.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 4:13 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Winter Light is an indie film set in Montana in the winter. Based n a story by James Lee Burke. Burke has novels set in Mntana and Texas (as well as Louisiana, of course), but I don't know if any are in winter.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:14 PM on August 9, 2016


Insomnia set in northern Norway or Hollywood remake set in Alaska
posted by canoehead at 4:27 PM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Seconding Winter's Bone; that movie is excellent and hits all your notes, as long as your winter doesn't demand huge amounts of snow.
posted by gideonfrog at 5:11 PM on August 9, 2016


Best answer: The Ice Harvest.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:15 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


WALLANDER. It's not in America (northern Sweden) but has a bleak prairie feeling to it somehow anyhow. Plus: Kenneth Branagh. Not always cold but usually and if it's not cold then Wallander is exhausted for some reason.
posted by jessamyn at 5:17 PM on August 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


For this question I would prefer to stick to America unless you have a recommendation that stands out as amazing.
Set in Iceland, Trapped is what you are looking for. It is absolutely gripping. The claustrophobic atmosphere that the worsening weather brings to this drama is fabulously dreadful. Great characters (especially Andri), with a wonderful multi-thread plot.
posted by unliteral at 5:19 PM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Nthing Krueger and Longmire. C.J. Box, Joseph Heywood, and Paul Doiron are crime-fiction writers I think you might enjoy. Winter is not always a factor in their books, but it's one that comes up a lot.
posted by box at 5:34 PM on August 9, 2016


It's not really about crime but if you like Fargo you should check out Kumiko the Treasure Hunter.
posted by Chenko at 5:39 PM on August 9, 2016


Best answer: John Sandford books about Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers. Set in Minnesota, often in winter, although some are in summer. Standard crime stories but much, much better written than most with good characters. He talks about coats and snow a lot.
posted by fshgrl at 5:42 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


North of 60 is a Canadian series.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:05 PM on August 9, 2016


Best answer: Reindeer Games fits your criteria of crime, winter, and "flyover" country, though the movie itself is just adequate.
posted by gudrun at 6:08 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Only half-US, but Lilyhammer stands out as amazing, and ticks your boxes.
Fictional "former" New York-based gangster, Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt), trys to start a new life in isolated Lillehammer, Norway.
Think Fargo/Small-time-Sopranos mashup, with maybe a hint of Curb Your Enthusiasm humour as well.
posted by quinndexter at 6:18 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Deborah Coates has a highly vivid and atmospheric paranormal mystery series set in the ranch country of South Dakota. Really good stuff, if you like some supernatural with your reality. Also the lead is a female military vet who is very cool and kickass.
posted by suelac at 8:26 PM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


It may seem an odd choice, given your criteria, but you might try Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park. It's not American, it's nobody's flyover country, but something about Smith's bleak portrayal of Soviet Russia reminded me a lot of the upper Midwest in winter. It's been years since I read the book or saw the movie (with William Hurt), but I enjoyed them both.
posted by lhauser at 9:50 PM on August 9, 2016


Stroszek. Not exclusively set in winter, though.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:51 PM on August 9, 2016


Best answer: Have you ever seen "Breakheart Pass"?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:59 PM on August 9, 2016


For Books: Yiddish policemen's Union ticks all three boxes.

Movies: Nice Guys, Inherent Vice and Hail Caesar all scratched a similar absurdist pulp feel. No snow, and two are in Hollywood. Drop Dead Gorgeous is less pulp, but does give us crime, kitsch and delightful accents.
posted by politikitty at 11:56 PM on August 9, 2016


You said America unless it stands out as amazing, but Top of the Lake (set in New Zealand) stands out as amazing.
posted by General Malaise at 5:23 AM on August 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nobody's Fool with Paul Newman. Actually set in upstate New York, I think, but could most any rural place. The production took advantage of a heavy snowstorm that happened during the filming, and there is a plotline involving a snowblower. No serious crime, as best I remember, but a lot of fun.
posted by SemiSalt at 6:22 AM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo what you are looking for?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:45 AM on August 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Some of Brian Freeman's books fit this criteria.
posted by RedEmma at 8:43 AM on August 10, 2016


The Winter Sleepers (by Tom Twyker, he also directed Run Lola Run) was my favorite indie film in 2000 and it is a drama/mild thriller with a murder subplot and it's set in the mountains of Germany in winter. As I recall it's very snowy and full of intrigue.
posted by epanalepsis at 11:37 AM on August 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


edit: I know it's not America but I loved this movie and it fits your criteria otherwise
posted by epanalepsis at 11:38 AM on August 10, 2016


Also, Twin Peaks? I'm not sure how much time they spend outdoors but it's rural, small-town America, and definitely a crime show (...of a sort)
posted by epanalepsis at 11:42 AM on August 10, 2016


Response by poster: Thanks for your answers, everyone! Also I can't believe nobody mentioned The Lookout.
posted by Monochrome at 7:05 AM on August 26, 2016


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