Fargo Pilot

Executive Summary

Poster
Overview

Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Mystery, Dark Comedy

Setting: Contemporary, Rural Minnesota

Overview: The story revolves around Lester Nygaard, a timid and insecure man who becomes entangled with a mysterious hitman named Lorne Malvo. Their encounter sets off a chain of events that leads to violence, deception, and self-discovery. Meanwhile, police deputy Molly Solverson is determined to solve a murder case, uncovering a web of connections that lead back to Lester and Malvo.

Themes: Identity and self-discovery, Violence and its consequences, Power and manipulation, Fate and destiny

Conflict and Stakes: The primary conflicts in this story revolve around the escalating violence and deception caused by Lorne Malvo's presence in the town. The stakes are high as innocent lives are at risk, and the characters must navigate a web of lies and danger to uncover the truth and protect themselves and their loved ones.

Overall Mood: Tense and suspenseful

Mood/Tone at Key Scenes:

  • Scene 1: The scene where Lorne Malvo confronts Lester Nygaard in the Arby's restaurant is tense and confrontational.
  • Scene 8: The discovery of Pearl's dead body in the basement creates a sense of shock and horror.
  • Scene 16: The scene where Molly discovers Vern's dead body and realizes there may still be someone in the house is suspenseful and intense.

Standout Features:

  • Unique Hook: The blending of dark comedy and crime drama genres creates a unique and compelling tone.
  • Plot Twist: The unexpected twists and turns in the story keep the audience engaged and guessing.
  • Distinctive Setting: The rural Minnesota setting adds a unique atmosphere and sense of isolation to the story.

Comparable Scripts:

  • Fargo (1996)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Breaking Bad (TV Series)
  • Fargo (TV Series)
  • A Simple Plan (1998)

Writing Style:

The writing style of the entire screenplay is characterized by a mix of dark humor, tension, and morally ambiguous situations. The dialogue is often concise and impactful, driving the narrative forward and revealing the complexities of the characters' relationships. The scenes frequently explore everyday conversations and subtle character dynamics, capturing the nuances of human interactions.

Style Similarities:

  • Coen Brothers
  • Quentin Tarantino
Other Similarities
Pass/Consider/Recommend

Consider


Explanation: The screenplay for 'Fargo Pilot' is well-constructed and engaging, effectively establishing a sense of mystery and tension from the beginning. The enigmatic character of Lorne Malvo adds intrigue to the story, and the scene with the wounded deer foreshadows violence. The screenplay could benefit from more clarity and context regarding the relationships and motivations of the characters, as well as smoother transitions between scenes. The use of offensive language in one scene could also be reconsidered. Overall, the screenplay has strong moments of tension, compelling character arcs, and a captivating narrative, making it a recommended watch.


USP: This script offers a unique blend of naturalistic dialogue, atmospheric scene description, and a focus on the internal thoughts and emotions of the characters. It explores themes of moral ambiguity, power dynamics, and personal growth, while also incorporating dark humor and irony. The writer's voice creates a sense of realism, tension, and depth, allowing the audience to connect with the characters and their struggles. With its unique storytelling techniques and compelling characters, this script stands out from others in its genre. It will be of interest to its target audience who are looking for a thought-provoking and engaging piece of storytelling.
Market Analysis

Budget Estimate:$20-30 million

Target Audience Demographics: Adults aged 25-54, fans of crime dramas and psychological thrillers

Marketability: The screenplay offers a compelling and suspenseful story with complex characters and explores themes that resonate with a wide adult audience. The success of the Fargo TV series demonstrates the marketability of this type of story.

The unique blend of genres, including crime drama and dark comedy, along with the strong performances and gripping storyline, make this screenplay stand out in the market.

The screenplay's strong critical reception and potential for awards recognition, combined with its appeal to a wide adult audience, contribute to its marketability.

Profit Potential: High, due to the strong appeal to a wide adult audience and potential for critical acclaim and awards recognition.

Analysis Criteria Percentiles
Writer's Voice

Summary:The writer's voice is characterized by a blend of naturalistic dialogue, atmospheric scene description, and a focus on the internal thoughts and emotions of the characters. This voice creates a sense of realism, tension, and depth in the story, allowing the audience to connect with the characters and their struggles.

Best representation: Scene 1 - Lester's Frustrations. This scene is the best representation of the author's voice because it showcases the atmospheric scene description, naturalistic dialogue, and focus on the characters' internal thoughts and emotions. The scene also introduces the themes of moral ambiguity and violence, setting the tone for the rest of the story.

Memorable Lines:

  • Malvo: Because some roads you shouldn’t go down. Because maps used to say there be dragons here. And now they don’t. But that don’t mean the dragons aren’t there. (Scene 40)
  • MALVO: Your problem is, you lived your whole life thinking there are rules. There aren’t. (Scene 28)
  • MALVO: Why do you let her talk to you like that? (Scene 20)
  • IDA: Your boy wanted a hamburger. (Scene 8)
  • LESTER NYGAARD: What did you do? You killed her. You killed her. (Scene 34)
Characters

Lester Nygaard:A timid and frustrated insurance salesman who becomes entangled in a web of violence and deceit

Lorne Malvo:A manipulative and dangerous hitman who disrupts the lives of those he encounters

Molly Solverson:A determined and resourceful police officer who investigates the crimes in her small town

Vern Thurman:The police chief who is killed while investigating a murder case

Gus Grimly:A hesitant and conflicted patrolman who encounters Lorne Malvo

Story Shape
Summary Overall, this TV pilot revolves around the intertwining lives of Lorne Malvo and Lester Nygaard in a small Minnesota town. It delves into themes of violence, manipulation, identity, and the consequences of one's actions. The pilot sets up a captivating mystery surrounding a murder, and it introduces us to the determined and resourceful Molly Solverson, who is determined to uncover the truth. The cliffhanger ending leaves us with many unanswered questions and sets the stage for future episodes.


Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The overall plot and story of the TV pilot screenplay is engaging and well-developed. The introduction of Lorne Malvo as a mysterious and dangerous hitman sets the tone for the rest of the story, creating a sense of tension and intrigue. The character arcs of Lester Nygaard and Molly Solverson are particularly compelling, as they undergo significant transformations throughout the pilot. Lester's journey from a meek and timid individual to a desperate and violent man is both shocking and captivating. Molly's growth from a competent and curious deputy to a dedicated and empathetic officer adds depth to the narrative. The plot is filled with unexpected twists and turns, keeping the audience engaged and eager to see what happens next. The dialogue is sharp and impactful, effectively conveying the personalities and motivations of the characters. The pacing of the story is well-balanced, allowing for moments of tension and reflection. Overall, the plot and story of the TV pilot screenplay are strong and captivating, leaving the audience wanting more.
Suggestions: To improve the screenplay's plot and story, consider providing more clarity and specificity in terms of Lorne Malvo's hidden agenda and motivations. Exploring his backstory and the events that shaped him into the manipulative and dangerous individual he has become would add depth and complexity to his character. Additionally, introducing a foil or rival character who challenges Malvo's power and control could create additional tension and conflict. For Lester Nygaard's character arc, consider adding specific scenes or moments that trigger his transformation and highlight his internal struggles. Exploring his relationship with his wife and the constant belittlement he faces, as well as the impact of the murder of Sam Hess on his psyche, would provide more context for his transformation. Furthermore, the transition from Pearl being a nagging wife to being killed by Lester feels abrupt and could benefit from more development. Gradually escalating tension and conflict between Pearl and Lester, leading to a climactic moment, would create a more satisfying and impactful character arc for Pearl.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here
Beginning The beginning of the TV pilot screenplay effectively sets up the plot and introduces the main characters. The scene with Lorne Malvo skidding off the road and observing the wounded deer establishes a sense of mystery and danger. Lester Nygaard's lunch scene with his wife Pearl provides insight into their strained relationship and Lester's meek personality. The introduction of Molly Solverson and Police Chief Vern Thurman investigating Malvo's accident adds a layer of intrigue and sets the stage for the investigation that unfolds throughout the pilot. The dialogue in these scenes is sharp and engaging, effectively conveying the personalities and motivations of the characters. However, the transition between scenes could be smoother, as some of the cuts feel abrupt and disjointed. Additionally, more specific details about the characters' backgrounds and motivations could be provided to further engage the audience and create a stronger connection with the story.
Suggestions: To improve the beginning of the screenplay, consider refining the transitions between scenes to create a smoother flow. This could be achieved by adding transitional elements or establishing shots that provide context and help the audience understand the passage of time. Additionally, providing more specific details about the characters' backgrounds and motivations in these early scenes would help to establish a stronger connection with the audience and create a more engaging narrative. This could be done through dialogue or visual cues that hint at their past experiences and the events that have shaped them into who they are. Furthermore, consider adding moments of foreshadowing or subtle hints about the conflicts and challenges that lie ahead, creating anticipation and intrigue for the audience.
Middle The middle part of the TV pilot screenplay is filled with tension and conflict, driving the plot forward and keeping the audience engaged. The investigation led by Molly Solverson and Police Chief Vern Thurman adds depth to the story, as they uncover clues and piece together the puzzle surrounding the murder of Sam Hess. The scenes involving Lorne Malvo's manipulative tactics and his interactions with other characters are particularly captivating, showcasing his power and control. The dialogue in these scenes is sharp and impactful, effectively conveying the psychological games being played. The pacing of the middle part is well-balanced, allowing for moments of reflection and character development amidst the escalating tension. However, some scenes could benefit from further development and exploration of the characters' motivations and internal struggles. Additionally, the transitions between scenes could be smoother to maintain a seamless flow and enhance the overall narrative.
Suggestions: To improve the middle part of the screenplay, consider delving deeper into the characters' motivations and internal struggles. This could be achieved through additional dialogue or scenes that provide insight into their thoughts and emotions. Exploring the psychological impact of the escalating tension and conflict on the characters would add depth and complexity to their arcs. Additionally, refining the transitions between scenes to create a smoother flow would help maintain the audience's engagement and enhance the overall narrative. This could be achieved by adding transitional elements or establishing shots that provide context and help the audience understand the passage of time. Furthermore, consider incorporating moments of reflection and character development amidst the escalating tension, allowing the audience to connect with the characters on a deeper level.
Ending The ending of the TV pilot screenplay is intense and leaves the audience wanting more. The climactic confrontation between Lester Nygaard, Lorne Malvo, and Police Chief Vern Thurman is filled with tension and suspense, showcasing the characters' conflicting motivations and desires. The violence and unexpected twists in these final scenes add a sense of urgency and danger to the story. The dialogue is sharp and impactful, effectively conveying the characters' emotions and motivations. The resolution of the plot leaves several unanswered questions, creating anticipation for future episodes. However, some aspects of the ending could benefit from further development and exploration. The transition from the basement scene to the hospital scene feels somewhat abrupt and could be smoother to maintain a seamless flow. Additionally, providing more clarity and specificity in terms of the consequences of the characters' actions would enhance the impact of the ending.
Suggestions: To improve the ending of the screenplay, consider refining the transition from the basement scene to the hospital scene to create a smoother flow. This could be achieved by adding transitional elements or establishing shots that provide context and help the audience understand the passage of time. Additionally, providing more clarity and specificity in terms of the consequences of the characters' actions would enhance the impact of the ending. This could be done through dialogue or visual cues that hint at the long-term ramifications of their choices. Furthermore, consider incorporating moments of reflection and introspection for the characters in the aftermath of the climactic confrontation. This would allow the audience to see the emotional and psychological impact of the events and create a more satisfying resolution to the pilot.

See the full analysis by clicking the title.

1 - The Mysterious Crash Suspenseful, Intense, Mysterious 9 8 76 8 678788778 69898
2 - Lester's Frustrations Exasperated, Tense, Resigned 8 7 66 9 686755647 97899
3 - The Unsettling Sales Pitch Serious, Light-hearted 7 7 66 7 487563574 89998
4 - Humiliation and Violence Outside the Appliance Shop Dark, Humorous, Intense 9 8 97 10 7871099978 98899
5 - Tense Hospital Encounter Tense, Intense, Suspenseful, Confrontational 9 8 86 9 887989979 109898
6 - Investigating the Accident Suspenseful, Dark, Mysterious 8 8 76 7 587677875 68899
7 - A Chilling Discovery Dark, Suspenseful, Melancholic 9 8 97 9 789979988 89899
8 - Preparations for Painting Tense, Dark, Suspenseful 8 7 75 8 587636745 67898
9 - A Cozy Dinner Conversation Dark, Humorous, Melancholic 8 7 73 8 685635727 96897
10 - Suspicion and Tension at Hess Trucking Company Suspenseful, Dark, Intense 8 7 87 9 787988877 98899
11 - Unwelcome Arrival Unhappy, Confused, Tense 8 7 74 8 687876767 87898
12 - A Light-hearted Kitchen Conversation Light-hearted, Humorous 8 7 67 9 386442455 98899
13 - Confrontation in the Garage Suspenseful, Dark, Intense 8 7 98 8 787979977 99899
14 - Tense Confrontation and Phone Call Tense, Dramatic 8 7 76 9 787978768 78899
15 - Malvo's Detour Suspenseful, Intense, Serious 8 7 84 9 687979867 87998
16 - A Sudden Murder and an Urgent Phone Call Dark, Intense, Suspenseful 9 8 88 8 7899910989 79999
17 - Late Night Coffee Chat Dark, Suspenseful 9 8 95 8 70810610969 77798
18 - Mysterious Death at The Lucky Penny Dark, Suspenseful, Deadpan 9 8 96 8 7769810978 78998
19 - Confrontation at the Farmdale Motel Dark, Suspenseful, Deadpan 8 7 76 8 487665795 97898
20 - Retaliation at the Farmdale Motel Dark, Suspenseful, Cynical 9 8 76 9 587676777 89898
21 - Gas Tank Incident Dark, Suspenseful, Humorous 9 8 96 9 689887977 89998
22 - Coffee Shop Investigation Serious, Humorous 8 7 85 9 587777966 87898
23 - Indifference and Mystification Tense, Dark, Humorous 9 8 86 9 787877877 99898
24 - Inheritance Anger Dark, Humorous, Suspenseful 8 7 87 9 787887877 88999
25 - Confrontation at the Hess House Suspenseful, Dark, Intense 9 8 92 9 807969948 86798
26 - Mickey's Silence and Lester's Observation Tense, Emotional, Mysterious 9 8 93 10 858979968 97898
27 - A Shocking Revelation Tense, Suspenseful, Emotional 9 8 95 8 887979969 77898
28 - Confrontation at Arby's Tense, Suspenseful, Intense, Dark 9 8 87 9 9879810988 109999
29 - Investigating Head Injuries Tense, Mysterious, Intense 8 7 86 9 687767876 89898
30 - Excitement for the Baby Tense, Terrified, Empowered, Happy 9 8 97 9 886939948 88899
31 - Investigating a Potential Connection Tense, Terrified, Empowered, Impressed 9 8 96 8 787888978 98999
32 - A Fatal Repair Attempt Tense, Terrifying, Empowering 9 8 96 9 987109108810 89998
33 - Desperate Call for Help Tense, Suspenseful, Dark 9 8 96 8 98998109710 79998
34 - Tense Encounter Tense, Suspenseful, Nervous 9 8 95 9 787989978 99998
35 - Bloody Footprint Tense, Dark, Suspenseful 9 8 96 8 889109101099 710998
36 - Trapped in the Basement Tense, Dark, Suspenseful 9 8 96 8 9899810979 79998
37 - Molly Discovers Vern Dead Tense, Suspenseful, Dramatic 9 8 95 9 887108101069 89998
38 - A Gruesome Discovery Suspenseful, Intense, Dark 9 8 96 9 88710710979 88899
39 - Night Patrol in Rural Minnesota Suspenseful, Intense, Grim 9 8 94 9 87910710969 88998
40 - A Tense Encounter on a Dark Highway Suspenseful, Intense, Dark 9 8 96 9 88710810979 109998
41 - Uncertainty and Responsibilities Suspenseful, Grim, Intense 9 8 96 8 787879869 78899
42 - A Father's Offer Serious, Reflective, Nostalgic 8 7 66 9 787473557 97898


Scene 1 - The Mysterious Crash
EXT. TWO LANE HIGHWAY. RURAL MINNESOTA - DAY

The white becomes snowfall, a blizzard. Through it we can
make out a two lane road. A car emerges from the snow --
rust-spotted, chains on the tires -- coming towards us.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR (TRAVELING) - DAY

LORNE MALVO, age unknown, birth place unknown, sits behind
the wheel, his breath white with frost. If he minds he
doesn’t show it.

As he drives we become aware of THUMPING coming from inside
the trunk. As if someone is in there who doesn’t want to be.
Malvo ignores it.

A DEER

appears in the road ahead of him. Malvo turns too late, HITS
it. The CAR SKIDS off the road, ROLLS twice -- the trunk
popping open -- before coming to rest on its wheels.

Beat. A MAN emerges from the trunk wearing only underwear.
He is stunned from the crash, but sound enough of mind to
know this is his chance. As we watch he LOPES off through
waist-deep snow, making for the tree line.

Beat. The driver’s door opens. Slowly, Malvo climbs out.
His head is bleeding where it hit the windshield. He stands
unsteadily in the snow, getting his bearings.

ANGLE ON THE OTHER MAN

Loping off through the snow. Malvo could catch him if he
tried, but he makes no attempt. Instead he walks into the
center of the road where the deer lays on its side,
struggling to get up. Three of its four legs are broken, but
still it fights for life. Malvo stands over the wounded
animal, looking down.
2.


CLOSE UP ON THE DEER

It’s eyes wild, blood bubbles foaming from its nose and
mouth, mortally wounded.

CLOSE UP ON MALVO

Studying it’s eyes. What does he see in there?

We begin to hear a strange throbbing, churning sound, half
animal, half machine.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Thriller","Drama"]

Summary In this tense and mysterious scene, Lorne Malvo's car skids off the road and rolls after hitting a deer. A man escapes from the trunk and disappears into the snow. Despite being injured, Malvo walks towards the wounded deer and closely observes it. The scene ends with Malvo standing over the deer, studying its eyes.
Strengths
  • Suspenseful atmosphere
  • Mysterious protagonist
  • Visual and sound design
Weaknesses
  • Minimal dialogue

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene effectively establishes a suspenseful and intense tone, introduces a mysterious protagonist, and creates a sense of foreboding. The visuals and sound design enhance the atmosphere and engage the audience. The scene leaves the viewer intrigued and wanting to know more.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a mysterious protagonist involved in a car accident and encountering a wounded deer in a blizzard is intriguing and sets up the potential for a compelling story. The scene effectively introduces the concept and leaves room for further exploration.

Plot: 7

The plot of the scene revolves around the car accident, the emergence of a man from the trunk, and the encounter with the wounded deer. While it sets up the initial conflict and introduces the protagonist, it is still early in the story and leaves room for further development.

Originality: 6

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the setting of a car accident during a blizzard is not entirely unique, the specific details and the philosophical conflict add freshness to the scene. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue contributes to the originality.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The scene introduces Lorne Malvo, a mysterious and enigmatic character. While not much is revealed about him, his actions and demeanor create intrigue and make him compelling. The emergence of the man from the trunk adds another layer of mystery to the scene.

Character Changes: 6

While there is not significant character change in the scene, the emergence of the man from the trunk hints at potential character development and transformation in the future.

Internal Goal: 7

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is not explicitly stated, but it can be inferred that Lorne Malvo is a mysterious and enigmatic character. His calm demeanor and lack of concern for the person in the trunk or the injured deer suggest a deeper need for control, power, or a disregard for human life.

External Goal: 8

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to assess the situation after the car accident and potentially pursue the man who escaped from the trunk. It reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges he's facing, such as the crash, the injured deer, and the man fleeing into the snow.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

The scene introduces conflict through the car accident, the emergence of the man from the trunk, and the encounter with the wounded deer. While the conflict is not overtly intense, it creates tension and sets up the potential for further conflict in the story.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in this scene is strong as the protagonist faces challenges such as the car accident, the injured deer, and the man escaping. The audience is unsure of how the protagonist will respond to these obstacles.

High Stakes: 8

The scene establishes high stakes through the car accident, the presence of the mysterious protagonist, and the potential danger lurking in the blizzard. It creates a sense of urgency and raises the tension.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by introducing the protagonist, establishing the mysterious circumstances, and creating a sense of anticipation for what will happen next.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because it introduces unexpected elements, such as the man escaping from the trunk and the protagonist's indifference towards the injured deer. The audience is unsure of what will happen next and how the protagonist will act.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

There is a philosophical conflict evident in this scene between the protagonist's indifference towards human life and the wounded deer fighting for its life. This challenges or relates to the protagonist's beliefs, values, or worldview by highlighting his lack of empathy or moral compass.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a sense of tension and foreboding, which elicits an emotional response from the audience. The visuals and sound design enhance the emotional impact and create a memorable atmosphere.

Dialogue: 6

The dialogue in the scene is minimal, with most of the impact coming from the visuals and sound design. However, the lack of dialogue adds to the suspense and mystery of the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it presents a mysterious and intriguing situation, introduces a morally ambiguous protagonist, and creates tension through the car accident and the wounded deer. The audience is drawn into the scene and wants to know more about the characters and their motivations.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by creating a sense of tension and anticipation. The slower moments, such as the protagonist studying the deer's eyes, contrast with the faster-paced moments, such as the car accident and the man escaping.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses proper scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with an establishing shot, introduces the protagonist, presents the external and internal goals, and ends with a moment of contemplation.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a strong visual description of a blizzard and a car emerging from the snow, which sets the tone and atmosphere effectively.
  • The introduction of the main character, Lorne Malvo, is intriguing with his mysterious background and his nonchalant attitude towards the thumping sound coming from the trunk.
  • The sudden appearance of a deer in the road adds tension and creates a moment of conflict.
  • The emergence of a man from the trunk and his escape through the snow adds an element of surprise and raises questions about his connection to Malvo.
  • The description of Malvo's injuries and his unsteady state after the crash adds to the physicality of the scene and emphasizes the impact of the accident.
  • The focus on the wounded deer and Malvo's contemplation of it creates a sense of introspection and adds depth to his character.
  • The use of close-ups on the deer and Malvo's face helps to intensify the emotional impact of the scene.
  • The introduction of a strange throbbing sound at the end adds an eerie and unsettling element to the scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding more specific details about Lorne Malvo's appearance and demeanor to further enhance his enigmatic nature.
  • Provide some hints or clues about the identity and significance of the man in the trunk to create intrigue and anticipation for future scenes.
  • Explore the internal thoughts or dialogue of Malvo to give insight into his motivations and intentions.
  • Consider incorporating more sensory details to immerse the reader in the blizzard and the aftermath of the crash.
  • Further develop the symbolism and thematic elements related to the wounded deer to deepen the meaning of the scene.
  • Experiment with the pacing of the scene to create moments of tension and release.
  • Consider foreshadowing or hinting at the strange throbbing sound earlier in the scene to build anticipation and curiosity.



Scene 2 - Lester's Frustrations
INT. KITCHEN. NYGAARD HOUSE. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - DAY

LESTER NYGAARD, 40, home for lunch, sits at the kitchen
table. Lester is the kind of guy who apologizes when you
step on his foot. His wife, PEARL, 39, is heating up a can
of soup at the stove. We get the sense she has been talking
nonstop since Lester walked in the door.

PEARL
-- Saturday. I said we’d bring a
Jello salad, but Kitty said
meatloaf, so --

The surging, churning sound is louder now, coming from under
the floor. Nygaard listens to it, both fascinated and
slightly disturbed.

PEARL (CONT’D)
(exasperated)
Hon?

LESTER NYGAARD
(snaps out of it)
What’s that, hon?

Pearl brings the pot over, ladles tomato soup into his bowl.

PEARL
(exasperated)
I said it’s Scotty’s birthday
Saturday. We’re supposed ta be at
your brother’s at one. With
meatloaf.

LESTER NYGAARD
(beat, listening)
It sounds different today, don’t ya
think? Angry.
3.


PEARL
I’m washing towels. That’s the
towel sound.

She sits. They eat.

PEARL (CONT’D)
Kitty says they just got one of
those fancy European all in ones.
Says it washes and dries. One
machine. Can you believe that?

LESTER NYGAARD
I bet that set them back a penny.

PEARL
He can afford it, your brother.
Kitty said he just got a big
promotion. After only working
there a year.

We can tell his brother is a touchy subject for Lester.

PEARL (CONT’D)
Kitty said they got one of those
new surround-sound systems too.
(Lester eats)
Guess I married the wrong Nygaard.
That’s what I said. We had a good
laugh.

LESTER NYGAARD
It’s just slow now. At the shop.

PEARL
Oh, hon. That’s what you always
say. Slow.

Beat. They eat. Lester wipes his mouth, stands.

LESTER NYGAARD
Well, better get back to it.

PEARL
You make your own wins. That’s
what Kitty said Ron told her.
Salesmen make their own wins. You
gotta try harder, hon. Smile, for
Pete sake. Maybe wear a nicer tie.

LESTER NYGAARD
(looks down)
You gave me this tie.
4.


PEARL
Well, if you were a better
salesman, I’da bought you a nicer
tie.

The sound of the washing machine takes on a new urgency.

PEARL (CONT’D)
At least take a look. I keep
thinking maybe it’s the settings.
Kitty said Ron fixes things around
the house all the time. Says he
took the toaster apart over the
weekend. Good as new now. Browns
to beat the band.

Lester’s jaw is tight. He opens the door to the basement.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Lester Nygaard and his wife Pearl have lunch in their kitchen and discuss their plans, Lester's work, and his brother's success. Lester feels inadequate and frustrated with his own situation. The scene ends with Lester opening the door to the basement.
Strengths
  • Natural dialogue
  • Effective portrayal of tension
  • Establishing character dynamics
Weaknesses
  • Minimal plot progression

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively establishes the tone and conflict within the marriage, creating intrigue and setting up potential character arcs.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of a dissatisfied husband and a nagging wife is not groundbreaking, but the scene introduces it in a relatable and engaging way.

Plot: 6

The plot in this scene is minimal, focusing more on character dynamics and establishing the relationship between Lester and Pearl.

Originality: 6

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of a couple having a casual conversation in a kitchen is familiar, the specific details and character dynamics add authenticity. The characters' actions and dialogue feel genuine and unique to their personalities.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-defined through their dialogue and actions, particularly Lester and Pearl. Their relationship and individual personalities are effectively portrayed.

Character Changes: 6

There is minimal character change in this scene, but it sets up potential growth and development for Lester.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to find a sense of fulfillment and success in his life. He desires to be a better salesman and to make his own wins. This reflects his deeper need for validation and recognition.

External Goal: 6

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to go back to work. This reflects the immediate circumstances of his lunch break being over and the challenge of trying to succeed in his job.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 7

There is a moderate level of conflict in the scene, primarily stemming from the tension between Lester and Pearl.

Opposition: 5

The opposition in this scene is not strong. The obstacles or challenges faced by the protagonist are relatively minor and do not create significant tension or suspense.

High Stakes: 5

The stakes in this scene are relatively low, focusing more on personal and relationship conflicts.

Story Forward: 6

The scene does not significantly move the overall story forward, but it establishes important character dynamics and potential conflicts.

Unpredictability: 4

This scene is predictable because it focuses on everyday conversations and does not introduce any unexpected plot twists or surprises.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene elicits a sense of tension and unease, creating an emotional impact on the audience.

Dialogue: 9

The dialogue is natural and reveals important information about the characters and their relationship. It effectively conveys tension and subtext.

Engagement: 7

This scene is engaging because it presents relatable characters in a familiar setting. The dialogue and interactions between the characters create a sense of authenticity and draw the audience into their conversation.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by allowing the audience to absorb the characters' dialogue and emotions. The rhythm of the scene feels natural and enhances the realism of the conversation.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. The scene is properly formatted with scene headings, character names, dialogue, and action lines.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and presents their conversation in a clear and coherent manner.


Critique
  • The scene starts abruptly with no transition from the previous scene, which can be disorienting for the audience.
  • The dialogue between Lester and Pearl feels mundane and lacks tension, which is in contrast to the tense and mysterious tone established in the previous scene.
  • The conversation about Scotty's birthday and the washing machine feels irrelevant and doesn't contribute to the overall conflict or plot of the story.
  • The sound of the washing machine is introduced abruptly and doesn't have a clear connection to the previous scene or the following scene.
  • The scene lacks visual elements that could enhance the tension and mystery, such as shots of the blizzard or the aftermath of the car crash.
  • The conflict between Lester and his brother is briefly mentioned but not explored further, leaving it unresolved and disconnected from the scene.
  • The scene ends abruptly with Lester opening the door to the basement, without a clear resolution or transition to the next scene.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding a transitional element, such as a visual or auditory cue, to smoothly connect this scene with the previous one.
  • Introduce more tension and mystery into the dialogue between Lester and Pearl, perhaps by hinting at the events of the previous scene or foreshadowing future conflicts.
  • Reevaluate the relevance of the conversation about Scotty's birthday and the washing machine, and consider replacing it with dialogue that directly contributes to the main conflict or plot.
  • Establish a clearer connection between the sound of the washing machine and the overall story, either by integrating it more seamlessly or by providing a stronger narrative purpose for its inclusion.
  • Include visual descriptions that enhance the tense and mysterious tone, such as shots of the blizzard or the aftermath of the car crash.
  • Further explore the conflict between Lester and his brother, either by delving deeper into their relationship or by resolving it in a meaningful way within this scene or later in the screenplay.
  • Provide a clearer resolution or transition at the end of the scene, such as a visual or auditory cue that leads into the next scene.



Scene 3 - The Unsettling Sales Pitch
INT. BASEMENT. NYGAARD HOUSE - DAY

Lester stands at the bottom of the stairs. The washing
machine is acting like a caged animal, roaring and bucking.
Lester stares at it, hypnotized. We get the sense he’s
looking at his own trapped heart.

CUT TO:

INT. INSURANCE AGENCY. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - DAY

Lester Nygaard sits across from a YOUNG COUPLE.

LESTER NYGAARD
So, that’s -- like I said, there’s
two kinds of policies you should be
thinking about. You got your Whole
Life and your Whole Life Plus.
Which is -- has all the benefits of
Whole Life -- plus a heck of a lot
more.

YOUNG MAN
We just came in to get Charline on
my health care.

YOUNG WOMAN
On account of I’m having a baby.

YOUNG MAN
Ya. A boy we’re hoping.

YOUNG WOMAN
Or a little girl.
5.


YOUNG MAN
But definitely one or the other.

YOUNG WOMAN
Ya. I’d just about hug the pants
off a little girl.

LESTER NYGAARD
Oh ya? Even more reason to -- all
the more --

He digs through his desk, pulls out a brochure.

LESTER NYGAARD (CONT’D)
-- because, I mean, what happens if
you have an accident at your job?

YOUNG MAN
I work at the library.

LESTER NYGAARD
Well, what if you’re in a car crash
and you go out the windshield? Or
say you’re on a ladder cleaning out
the gutters and fall off the darn
thing and break your neck. These
things happen every day. People
fall asleep smoking in bed and burn
ta death. What I’m saying is the
morgue is full of guys thought they
didn’t need life insurance.

The young couple stares at him, horrified.

LESTER NYGAARD (CONT’D)
(losing steam)
-- for peace of mind, I’m saying.
To know that your little boy --

YOUNG MAN
Or girl.

LESTER NYGAARD
Right. Or little girl is taken
care of.

YOUNG WOMAN
(beat, creeped out)
We’re supposed to be at my mom’s by
four.

YOUNG MAN
Ya, so we’re gonna --
6.


They stand, head for the door.

LESTER NYGAARD
Oh. Okay, well -- at least let me
give you a brochure. Or I got
these nifty pens. Look at that.
Black and red ink. You just click
the -- Okay, well, come on back if
you --

The couple exits. Nygaard sits for a moment.

LESTER NYGAARD (CONT’D)
Well, heck.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Lester Nygaard becomes mesmerized by his chaotic washing machine in the basement. He then tries to sell life insurance to a young couple at an insurance agency, but his examples of accidents and tragedies make them uncomfortable. The couple abruptly leaves, leaving Lester disappointed and alone.
Strengths
  • Effective portrayal of awkwardness and humor
  • Realistic dialogue
Weaknesses
  • Lack of emotional impact
  • Minimal character development

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 7

The scene effectively portrays the awkwardness and ineffectiveness of Lester's sales pitch, providing both comedic and dramatic elements. However, it lacks a strong emotional impact and character development.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of Lester's unsuccessful sales pitch adds humor and highlights his character's lack of confidence and social skills.

Plot: 6

The plot of the scene revolves around Lester's attempt to sell life insurance to the young couple. While it provides some insight into Lester's character and his struggles, it doesn't significantly advance the overall story.

Originality: 6

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of an insurance salesman trying to convince potential customers is familiar, the writer adds a unique twist by incorporating humor and awkwardness into the dialogue. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality.


Character Development

Characters: 7

The scene introduces Lester Nygaard as a socially awkward and ineffective salesman. The young couple serves as a contrast to Lester, reacting with horror and discomfort to his pitch.

Character Changes: 4

There is minimal character change in the scene, with Lester remaining socially awkward and ineffective in his sales pitch.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to sell insurance policies to the young couple. This goal reflects his desire for success and validation, as well as his fear of failure and rejection.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to convince the young couple to purchase life insurance. This goal reflects the immediate circumstance of his job as an insurance salesman and the challenge of persuading potential customers.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 5

The conflict in the scene is relatively low, with the young couple's discomfort serving as the main source of tension.

Opposition: 6

The opposition in this scene is moderate. The young couple's hesitation and eventual rejection of the protagonist's sales pitch create a small obstacle for him to overcome. The audience is unsure of how the interaction will go.

High Stakes: 3

The stakes in the scene are relatively low, as it primarily revolves around Lester's personal struggles and his attempt to make a sale.

Story Forward: 5

The scene does not significantly move the story forward, as it primarily focuses on character development and humor.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because the protagonist's attempts to sell insurance take unexpected turns, such as his tangents and awkward interactions with the young couple.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 4

The scene lacks a strong emotional impact, focusing more on humor and awkwardness rather than eliciting deep emotions from the audience.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue effectively conveys Lester's awkwardness and desperation in his sales pitch. It also provides some comedic moments through the young couple's reactions.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it combines humor, tension, and relatable situations. The dialogue exchanges between the protagonist and the young couple create a sense of anticipation and curiosity.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by alternating between moments of tension and moments of humor. The rhythm of the dialogue exchanges keeps the scene engaging and dynamic.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses proper scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with a description of the location, followed by a series of dialogue exchanges, and ends with a cut to a different location.


Critique
  • The transition from the previous scene to this one feels abrupt and disjointed. It's not clear how or why we suddenly shift from Lester opening the door to the basement to him sitting in an insurance agency.
  • The description of the washing machine as 'acting like a caged animal, roaring and bucking' is a bit melodramatic and doesn't quite fit with the tone of the previous scene.
  • The dialogue between Lester and the young couple in the insurance agency feels forced and unnatural. The conversation lacks authenticity and doesn't flow smoothly.
  • The dialogue also seems to go off on tangents and doesn't directly address the conflict or tension established in the previous scene.
  • There is a lack of visual elements or actions in this scene, which makes it feel static and unengaging.
  • The scene ends abruptly without a clear resolution or sense of closure.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding a smoother transition between the previous scene and this one to create a more seamless flow.
  • Revisit the description of the washing machine to make it more in line with the tone and style of the screenplay.
  • Revise the dialogue between Lester and the young couple to make it more natural and authentic. Focus on addressing the conflict and tension established in the previous scene.
  • Introduce more visual elements or actions to make the scene visually engaging and dynamic.
  • Provide a clearer resolution or sense of closure at the end of the scene to leave the audience with a satisfying conclusion.



Scene 4 - Humiliation and Violence Outside the Appliance Shop
EXT. APPLIANCE SHOP. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - DAY

Lester stands outside the store, staring in through the plate
glass window at a brand new washer dryer set. He’s wearing a
puffy orange coat and a wool hat with ear flaps.

An SUV pulls up down the block. SAM HESS, 40, climbs out
with his TWIN SONS, MICKEY and MOE, 15. Hess is a big guy,
intimidating. His boys look like two identical blocking
sleds.

SAM HESS
(to the driver)
Circle for a bit. I’m gonna feed
the boys.

The SUV pulls away. Hess and sons walk towards Lester.

MOE
Dad said I could get pie for lunch.

MICKEY
(snickers)
Ya. Hair pie.

Sam WACKS Mickey in the back of the head. Moe cracks up.
Oblivious, Lester stares at the washer dryer. Walking by,
Hess recognizes him.

SAM HESS
(stopping)
Will ya look at that. It’s Lester
Niggered.

Lester turns, sees Hess. It takes a moment for him to
recognize him, but when he does he looks nervous.
7.


LESTER NYGAARD
Come on now, Sam. It’s -- well,
it’s Nygaard. Same as in high
school.

MICKEY
You went to high school with Lester
Niggered, dad?

MOE
Ya, dad, did you --

SAM HESS
Shut up. How you been, Lester?

LESTER NYGAARD
Oh, can’t complain.

SAM HESS
You look like a damn pumpkin. You
turn into a pumpkin at midnight?
You got stepsisters?

MICKEY
Stepsisters were evil, dad. They
weren’t fairies.

SAM HESS
Shutup.

LESTER NYGAARD
Um, uh. You look good, Sam.

SAM HESS
Why wouldn’t I? Got my own
trucking company now. Hess and
Sons. These are the sons. God help
me.

MICKEY
Yeah, we’re the ...

SAM HESS
Shutup. Got rigs all over the
Great Lakes.
(to his sons)
Hey, you remember I told you the
story of the boy I put in the oil
drum and rolled onto the highway?

MICKEY
Is that him, dad?
8.


MOE
Ya, dad. Is that him?

SAM HESS
Oh you betcha. Good old Lester
pencil dick. Say, Lester. What
was the name of that girl you went
with in high school? The curvy
one?

LESTER NYGAARD
Pearl.

SAM HESS
Ya, Pearl. What a rack on that
girl.

MOE
(to Mickey)
Dad’s saying she had big titties.

MICKEY
I know what rack means, ya fairy.

Hess smacks both boys in the back of the head.

MICKEY (CONT’D)
Ow.

MOE
Ya, dad. Ow.

SAM HESS
(to Lester)
You know she gave me a tug once.
Homecoming, senior year. Had these
nice fat hands. Real soft. Let me
feel up her tits while she did it.

LESTER NYGAARD
We’re married now. Going on
eighteen years.

Sam is taken off guard by this. The kids crack up.

MICKEY
Oh, dad. That’s embarrassing.

MOE
Ya, dad. Super embarrassing.

Hess’s eyes narrow. His face is burning and he doesn’t like
the feeling.
9.


SAM HESS
Eighteen years, huh? That’s
something.
(beat)
Never knew what she saw in you,
really.

LESTER NYGAARD
Oh, well --

SAM HESS
I mean, help me out. No looks. Or
brains. Or money.

Lester can tell he’s in danger.

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya. Well. I should get back to it.

But Hess moves in front of Lester.

SAM HESS
A little guy like you.

MICKEY
He’s real small dad.

MOE
A real pee wee.

LESTER NYGAARD
Ha. Ya. Real good seeing you, Sam.
Real good. And meeting your boys.

But Hess won’t let him go

SAM HESS
(to his sons)
Did I ever tell you how I used to
beat this little guy up in high
school? I’d write my name on my
fist in Sharpie fore I punched him,
so everyone would know who did it.

MICKEY
That’s a good one, dad.

MOE
Ya, dad. A real good one.

Hess lifts his fist, shows Lester.

SAM HESS
Remember?
10.


LESTER NYGAARD
Ha. Ya. That was -- a long time
ago.

Slowly, Hess moves his fist right in front of Lester’s face,
enjoying his fear. Lester stands there, humiliated, not
knowing what to do. Hating his helplessness, his base
cowardice.

Then Hess drops his fist and smiles to show it’s all just a
big joke. Lester starts to relax. Then HESS FAKES A PUNCH.
Lester panics, turns and RUNS FACE FIRST into the PLATE GLASS
WINDOW of the appliance store -- CRACK! He falls to the
ground, lays on his back.

MICKEY
Geez, dad. His face is pretty
messed up.

MOE
Ya, dad. It’s real messed up.

CLOSE UP OF LESTER’S FACE

As he lays there, his nose broken and bleeding, staring up at
the sky. Beat. We PULL OUT and discover we are now in ...
Genres: ["Drama","Dark Comedy","Crime"]

Summary Lester stands outside an appliance shop in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where he is confronted by Sam Hess and his twin sons. Hess bullies and embarrasses Lester, culminating in a fake punch that causes Lester to run into the plate glass window of the store. The scene ends with Lester lying on the ground, his face broken and bleeding, staring up at the sky.
Strengths
  • Sharp dialogue
  • Intense conflict
  • Effective character development
Weaknesses
  • Use of offensive language

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is highly effective in creating tension and showcasing the power dynamics between the characters. The dialogue is sharp and the conflict is palpable, keeping the audience engaged.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of revisiting a high school bully and exploring the impact it has on the protagonist's life is intriguing and adds depth to the story.

Plot: 9

The plot of the scene revolves around the encounter between Lester and Sam Hess, escalating from a tense reunion to physical violence. It effectively advances the overall plot of the story.

Originality: 7

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of a protagonist being bullied is familiar, the specific dialogue and interactions between the characters bring a fresh approach to the scene. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 10

The characters in the scene are well-developed and their interactions reveal their personalities and motivations. Lester is portrayed as a timid and vulnerable individual, while Sam Hess is a menacing bully.

Character Changes: 7

Lester experiences humiliation and physical violence, which may lead to a change in his character and motivate him to take action.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to avoid confrontation and maintain his dignity. This reflects his deeper need for acceptance and his fear of being humiliated.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to leave the situation without getting physically hurt. This reflects the immediate challenge of dealing with a bully and avoiding physical harm.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 10

The conflict in the scene is intense and escalates from verbal confrontation to physical violence. It creates a sense of danger and keeps the audience on edge.

Opposition: 9

The opposition in this scene is strong, as the protagonist is faced with a bully who poses a physical threat. The audience is unsure of how the confrontation will go, adding to the tension and suspense.

High Stakes: 9

The stakes are high in the scene as Lester's physical and emotional well-being are at risk. The encounter with Sam Hess has the potential to impact his life significantly.

Story Forward: 9

The scene moves the story forward by introducing conflict and establishing the power dynamics between characters. It sets the stage for future events and character development.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because it subverts the audience's expectations by faking a punch and causing the protagonist to run into a plate glass window. The unexpected turn of events adds to the tension and keeps the audience on their toes.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

There is a philosophical conflict evident in this scene between the values of respect and humiliation. The protagonist values respect and dignity, while the antagonist values power and dominance. This conflict challenges the protagonist's beliefs and values, as he is forced to confront his fear of humiliation.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions, including tension, fear, and empathy for Lester. The physical violence adds to the emotional impact.

Dialogue: 9

The dialogue is sharp, witty, and reveals the power dynamics between the characters. It effectively conveys tension, humor, and the underlying conflict.

Engagement: 8

This scene is engaging because it creates a sense of tension and discomfort through the interactions between the characters. The dialogue and actions keep the audience invested in the outcome of the scene.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by gradually building tension and suspense. The rhythm of the dialogue and the actions of the characters create a sense of anticipation and keep the scene engaging.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. The scene headings, character names, and dialogue are properly formatted. The action lines are clear and concise, providing a visual representation of the scene.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with an establishing shot and introduces the characters and their goals. The dialogue and actions are structured in a way that builds tension and leads to the climax of the scene.


Critique
  • The scene lacks clear objectives and conflicts. It seems to be a random encounter between Lester and Sam Hess without any clear purpose or resolution.
  • The dialogue feels forced and unnatural. The banter between Sam Hess and his sons comes across as crude and unnecessary, adding little to the scene.
  • The scene lacks subtlety and nuance. The interactions between the characters are heavy-handed and lack depth.
  • The scene lacks visual elements and actions, relying heavily on dialogue to convey the story.
  • The tone of the scene is unclear. It starts off with a somewhat comedic tone but quickly turns violent and unsettling without a clear transition.
  • The scene lacks a clear emotional arc for Lester. He goes from being nervous to relaxed to panicked without a clear motivation or progression.
  • The scene lacks a clear resolution or payoff. It ends abruptly with Lester running into the plate glass window, leaving the reader with no sense of closure or purpose.
Suggestions
  • Clarify the objectives and conflicts in the scene. What does Lester want? What does Sam Hess want? How do their interactions escalate the conflict?
  • Rewrite the dialogue to be more natural and nuanced. Avoid crude and unnecessary banter and focus on creating meaningful interactions between the characters.
  • Add more visual elements and actions to enhance the storytelling. Show the characters' body language, facial expressions, and physical movements to convey their emotions and intentions.
  • Establish a consistent tone for the scene. Decide whether it should be comedic, tense, or unsettling, and make sure the transitions between tones are smooth and purposeful.
  • Develop a clear emotional arc for Lester. Show his progression from nervousness to relaxation to panic in a way that is motivated and believable.
  • Provide a clear resolution or payoff for the scene. Give the reader a sense of closure or purpose by tying the events of the scene to the larger story.
  • Consider restructuring the scene to create a stronger narrative flow and build tension. Introduce clear objectives and conflicts early on and escalate them throughout the scene.
  • Consider adding subtext and layers to the scene. Explore the underlying emotions and motivations of the characters to create depth and complexity.



Scene 5 - Tense Hospital Encounter
INT. WAITING ROOM. HOSPITAL. SAINT CLOUD, MN - DAY

Lester, now sitting, lifts an ice pack to his nose. He is on
a bench in the emergency room. And just as we realize this,
we see that sitting next to him is LORNE MALVO, a nasty
bruise and cut on his forehead from the car crash.

Lester lowers the ice pack. Beat.

LESTER NYGAARD
What a day.
(to a passing nurse)
Excuse me, miss. Do ya think --
will it be much longer? This thing
hurts like the dickens.

NURSE
We’ll call your name.

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya, but I been here an hour
already.

NURSE
We’ll call your name.
11.


She walks away. Lester opens a soda, tries to drink, but it
hurts too much. He puts the soda down.

MALVO
Could I have a sip?

Lester turns. Malvo is looking at him.

LESTER NYGAARD
Heck, take the whole can. I can’t
drink the darn thing without a
straw.

He hands Malvo the soda. Malvo tips it back and drains it.
Lester tries not to stare at Malvo’s head injury.

MALVO
Obliged.
(puts down the can)
What happened to your nose?

LESTER NYGAARD
Oh, well. That was just -- a
misunderstanding.

MALVO
Is that you misunderstanding the
other fella, or him
misunderstanding you?

LESTER NYGAARD
Pardon?

MALVO
Who misunderstood whom?

LESTER NYGAARD
No. What I’m saying is -- it’s not
good to dwell on these things.

MALVO
Why?

LESTER NYGAARD
Pardon?

MALVO
Why is not good to dwell on things?
Especially things that put you in
the hospital.

Beat. Lester doesn’t know what to say. Malvo watches him.
12.


LESTER NYGAARD
It was -- I was outnumbered if you
wanna know the truth. Three to
one. Big guys too. Well, one of
them. The other two were just
kids. But big fer their age.
(beat, getting worked up)
Ya know -- if I was any kind of man
-- I’da shown that Sam what’s what.

MALVO
Sam?

LESTER NYGAARD
Hess. He was a bully in high
school and he’s a bully now.

MALVO
So why didn’t you?
(off Lester)
Show him what’s what.

LESTER NYGAARD
Well, his, uh, he had his sons with
him, and --

MALVO
So you let a man beat you in front
of his children. To send them a
message.

LESTER NYGAARD
No. That’s not --
(frustrated)
Heck. Just -- heck.

MALVO
In my experience, you let a man
break your nose, next time he’ll
try to break your spine.

LESTER NYGAARD
Sam? No way. I mean, I don’t think.
It’s just -- I guess I embarrassed
him in front of his boys.

MALVO
You embarrassed him.

LESTER NYGAARD
By -- he was telling me about a
time when he and my wife -- see,
they --
(gesturing)
(MORE)
13.

LESTER NYGAARD (CONT'D)
-- but he didn’t know she was my
wife, is the thing. And when I
told him --

MALVO
A man slept with your wife, and
you’re worried you embarrassed him.

LESTER NYGAARD
Not slept with -- they didn’t -- he
said it was just -- she has soft
hands, see? -- and I --

MALVO
Mister, we’re not friends. Maybe
one day we will be. But I gotta
say, if that was me -- in your
position -- I woulda killed that
man.

LESTER NYGAARD
Well, now. Hold on.

MALVO
You said he bullied you in high
school?

LESTER NYGAARD
(reluctantly)
Four years. Gave me an ulcer.
(humiliated)
One time he put me in an oil barrel
and rolled me in the road.

MALVO
Seriously?
(Lester nods)
And now he tells you he had
relations with your wife. Then
bullies you again in front of his
children. Friend, this is not a
man who deserves to draw breath.

Beat. All the humiliation and pain Lester has suffered
threatens to bubble up.

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya. Okay. But here’s the thing --

MALVO
No. That is the thing.
14.


LESTER NYGAARD
(beat)
Well -- heck -- I mean, okay.
Okay. But what am I supposed ta do?
(beat)
Heck, you’re so sure about it,
maybe you should just kill him for
me.

MALVO
(beat)
Are you asking me to kill this man?

LESTER NYGAARD
No. That was -- I was joking.

The nurse walks up.

NURSE
Mr. Nygaard.

Lester looks at Malvo.

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya, that’s -- just a second.
(to Malvo)
We’re just two fellas talking,
right? Just blowing off steam?

Malvo studies him.

NURSE
Sir, it’s real busy --

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya, like I said -- just a second.

MALVO
Sam. Hess.

LESTER NYGAARD
No. Now wait just a second --
that’s not --

NURSE
Sir!

But Lester is focused on Malvo, like a mouse hypnotised by a
snake.

MALVO
One word. Yes. Or no.
15.


Lester looks at him, feeling a strange tickle down his spine.
All he has to do is say no, but he doesn’t.

NURSE
Sir, I’m gonna give your spot to --

LESTER NYGAARD
(stands)
Ya, I’m -- I’m coming for Pete
sake.

He shares one last moment of eye contact with Malvo, then
grabs his coat and hat, follows the nurse to an exam room.
Malvo watches him go.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Drama","Thriller"]

Summary Lester Nygaard and Lorne Malvo sit in a hospital waiting room, both nursing injuries. Lester asks a nurse about his wait time, but is dismissed. He offers Malvo his soda, leading to a conversation about Lester's recent altercation with Sam Hess. Malvo suggests that Lester should kill Sam, unsettling him. The nurse interrupts, and Lester leaves with her to an exam room, while Malvo watches him go.
Strengths
  • Intense dialogue
  • Tension-building
  • Character development
Weaknesses
  • Some repetitive dialogue

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is highly engaging and gripping, with strong dialogue and intense emotions. It effectively sets up the conflict and raises the stakes for the characters.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a chance encounter between two characters with contrasting personalities and motivations is intriguing. The scene explores themes of revenge, morality, and the consequences of one's actions.

Plot: 8

The plot progresses as Lester's encounter with Malvo leads him to contemplate seeking revenge against Sam Hess. The scene sets up a potential turning point for Lester's character arc.

Originality: 6

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of a protagonist seeking revenge is a familiar one, the specific dynamics between the characters and the nuanced exploration of the protagonist's internal conflict add freshness and authenticity to the scene. The characters' actions and dialogue feel believable and true to their motivations.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters of Lester and Malvo are well-developed and their interactions are compelling. Lester's internal conflict and Malvo's manipulative nature add depth to the scene.

Character Changes: 8

Lester experiences a shift in his mindset as he contemplates seeking revenge against Sam Hess. This sets up a potential transformation in his character.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to find validation and support for his feelings of humiliation and desire for revenge. It reflects his deeper need for respect and his fear of being seen as weak or powerless.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to get medical attention for his injuries. It reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges he is facing after being involved in a car crash.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between Lester and Malvo is intense and escalates throughout the scene. The power dynamics and moral dilemma create a high level of conflict.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in this scene is strong, as the protagonist is faced with conflicting viewpoints and choices presented by Malvo. The audience is unsure of how the protagonist will respond and what consequences his decision may have.

High Stakes: 9

The stakes are high as Lester contemplates seeking revenge against Sam Hess, potentially risking his own safety and moral integrity.

Story Forward: 9

The scene moves the story forward by introducing a new conflict and raising the stakes for Lester. It sets up potential future events and character development.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because it is unclear how the protagonist will respond to Malvo's suggestion of taking action and seeking revenge. The audience is left wondering what choice he will make.

Philosophical Conflict: 9

There is a philosophical conflict evident in this scene between the protagonist's belief in avoiding confrontation and dwelling on past events, and Malvo's belief in taking action and seeking revenge. This challenges the protagonist's values and worldview.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene evokes strong emotions, including frustration, intimidation, and horror. The audience is invested in Lester's internal struggle and the potential consequences of his decisions.

Dialogue: 10

The dialogue is sharp, impactful, and reveals the contrasting personalities of Lester and Malvo. It effectively conveys tension and builds suspense.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it presents a conflict between the protagonist's desire for revenge and his internal struggle to maintain his sense of morality. The dialogue exchanges between the characters create tension and suspense, keeping the audience invested in the outcome.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by gradually building tension and suspense through the dialogue exchanges. The rhythm of the scene is well-paced, allowing for moments of reflection and contemplation.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses standard scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with a description of the setting, introduces the characters, and progresses through a series of dialogue exchanges that reveal the internal and external goals of the protagonist.


Critique
  • The scene starts off with Lester sitting in the emergency room, but it is not immediately clear why he is there or what has happened to him. It would be helpful to provide some context or explanation earlier in the scene.
  • The dialogue between Lester and the nurse feels repetitive and doesn't add much to the scene. It could be condensed or reworked to make it more engaging.
  • The conversation between Lester and Malvo feels forced and unnatural. The dialogue lacks subtlety and nuance, making it difficult for the audience to connect with the characters.
  • The transition between Lester's conversation with Malvo and his interaction with the nurse feels abrupt and disjointed. It would benefit from a smoother transition or a clearer connection between the two moments.
  • The scene ends with a cliffhanger, but it is not clear what the significance of Lester's interaction with Malvo is or how it will impact the story moving forward. This lack of clarity leaves the audience feeling unsatisfied.
Suggestions
  • Provide some context or explanation at the beginning of the scene to clarify why Lester is in the emergency room and what has happened to him.
  • Condense or rework the dialogue between Lester and the nurse to make it more engaging and informative.
  • Rewrite the conversation between Lester and Malvo to make it feel more natural and nuanced. Focus on developing their characters and their dynamic.
  • Improve the transition between Lester's conversation with Malvo and his interaction with the nurse to create a smoother flow.
  • Provide more clarity and significance to Lester's interaction with Malvo to create a stronger sense of anticipation and intrigue.



Scene 6 - Investigating the Accident
EXT. TWO LANE HIGHWAY. SAINT CLOUD, MN - DAY

The site of Malvo’s accident. The car is still there, its
trunk now closed. TWO POLICE CARS are parked nearby, lights
flashing. DEPUTY MOLLY SOLVERSON, 29 stands behind the
wreck, kicking her feet to stay warm.

A THIRD CAR pulls up. Police Chief VERN THURMAN (40s) gets
out. Molly comes over to greet him.

MOLLY
Cold enough for ya, chief?

VERN
Supposed to get down to negative
ten later.

MOLLY
Heard that. Don’t much like the
sound of negative.

VERN
Thought I might strip down to my
shorts. Work on my tan.
(nods)
So what’s this here then?

Molly shows him the scene.

MOLLY
Chief, I arrived on the scene at
thirteen hundred hours, found this
late model Ford. Looks like she
rolled a few times. I found a set
of footprints leading away from the
car.
(MORE)
16.

MOLLY (CONT'D)
Possible our driver, injured, got
confused, wandered into the woods.
I was about to investigate.

Vern circles the car, crouches at the front grill.

VERN
Blood here. Hair too.

MOLLY
Saw that. I was thinkin’ maybe a
deer, but couldn’t find the
evidence.

Vern walks out into the road, looking for something. Fresh
snow covers everything. Vern does some mental calculations,
picks a spot and kicks the snow away.

VERN
Here it is.

Molly looks down, sees the underlayer of snow is pink with
blood.

MOLLY
Son of a gun.

Vern walks back to the car. The driver’s door is open.

VERN
(leans in)
Windshield’s cracked. Blood there
too. Driver musta hit his head

MOLLY
Or her head.

Vern hears something, straightens. It comes again louder.
THUMPING. From the trunk.

VERN
You check the trunk?

MOLLY
No, sir.

The thumping continues. Vern and Molly approach the trunk.

ANGLE ON THE TRUNK

Something is inside, banging.
17.


VERN

Thinks about opening it, the pros and cons.

MOLLY (CONT’D)
Should I unholster my sidearm?

VERN
Not unless you think there’s a
ninja inside.

He reaches down and pops the trunk. It swings open,
revealing:

THE DEER

Still alive, flailing weakly.

VERN AND MOLLY

Look at the deer.

MOLLY
Huh.

Vern takes out his gun, puts the deer out of its misery. They
stand for a moment in silence, breath misty.

MOLLY (CONT’D)
(beat)
So -- wanna take a look at those
footprints then?

VERN
Sounds good.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Drama","Thriller"]

Summary Deputy Molly Solverson and Police Chief Vern Thurman investigate the scene of Malvo's accident on a cold day in Saint Cloud, MN. They find a rolled car with footprints leading away from it, blood and hair on the car, and a trail of blood in the snow. They hear thumping from the trunk and discover a live deer inside. Vern puts the deer out of its misery. Molly suggests they investigate the footprints further.
Strengths
  • Creating suspense and intrigue
  • Introducing a mysterious accident
  • Establishing the investigative abilities of Molly and Vern
Weaknesses
  • Limited emotional impact
  • Minimal character development

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively creates suspense and intrigue through the mysterious accident and the discovery of the live deer in the trunk. The dialogue between Molly and Vern adds depth to their characters and hints at a larger story.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a car accident with unusual elements and the subsequent investigation by Molly and Vern is intriguing and engaging.

Plot: 7

The plot progresses as Molly and Vern investigate the accident and discover the live deer in the trunk. It adds an unexpected twist to the story.

Originality: 6

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of a car accident and the investigation is a familiar one, the inclusion of the live deer in the trunk adds a unique and unexpected element. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue contributes to the originality.


Character Development

Characters: 7

Molly and Vern are introduced as competent and curious investigators. Their interaction reveals their personalities and establishes their roles in the story.

Character Changes: 5

There is minimal character change in this scene as it primarily focuses on the investigation of the accident.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to investigate the car accident and find any clues or evidence that may lead to the driver's whereabouts. This reflects their desire to solve mysteries and uphold justice.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to find the driver of the car accident and ensure their safety. This reflects the immediate challenge of locating a potentially injured or confused person in the nearby woods.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

There is a moderate level of conflict as Molly and Vern investigate the accident and encounter the unexpected presence of the live deer.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in this scene is moderately strong. The potential danger of the situation and the unknown whereabouts of the driver create a sense of opposition and challenge for the protagonist.

High Stakes: 7

The discovery of the live deer in the trunk raises the stakes and adds a sense of danger and intrigue to the scene.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by introducing a mysterious accident and setting up the investigation by Molly and Vern.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because the discovery of the live deer in the trunk is unexpected and adds a twist to the investigation. The audience does not know how the investigation will unfold.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 5

The scene does not have a strong emotional impact, but it creates intrigue and curiosity in the audience.

Dialogue: 6

The dialogue between Molly and Vern is realistic and serves to advance the plot and reveal information about the accident.

Engagement: 8

This scene is engaging because it presents a mysterious situation and raises questions about the driver's whereabouts. The dialogue between the characters is also engaging and reveals their personalities.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by gradually building tension and suspense as the characters discover clues and approach the trunk. The rhythm of the dialogue and the description of actions also contribute to the scene's pacing.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It includes scene headings, character names, dialogue, and action descriptions in a clear and organized manner.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It introduces the location, characters, and conflict, and progresses in a logical and coherent manner.


Critique
  • The transition from the previous scene to this scene is abrupt and lacks a clear connection. It would be helpful to have a smoother transition or a brief establishing shot to set the location and time.
  • The dialogue between Molly and Vern feels a bit forced and lacks depth. It would be beneficial to develop their characters more and add some subtext to their conversation.
  • The discovery of the deer in the trunk feels random and disconnected from the previous events. It would be more effective to tie it back to the main storyline or provide a clearer explanation for its presence.
  • The scene lacks visual descriptions and actions, making it feel static and unengaging. Adding more visual elements and character movements would enhance the overall impact of the scene.
  • The emotional tone of the scene is unclear. It would be helpful to establish a specific mood or atmosphere to create a stronger impact on the audience.
Suggestions
  • Consider adding a transitional shot or a brief description to connect this scene to the previous one and provide a smoother flow.
  • Develop the dialogue between Molly and Vern to reveal more about their characters and create a sense of tension or intrigue.
  • Reconsider the inclusion of the deer in the trunk or find a way to connect it more closely to the main storyline.
  • Add more visual descriptions and character movements to make the scene more dynamic and engaging.
  • Establish a specific emotional tone for the scene to create a stronger impact on the audience.



Scene 7 - A Chilling Discovery
EXT. WOODS. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - DUSK

Vern and Molly, flashlights on, trudge through the deep snow.

MOLLY
(beat, walking)
How’s Ida?

VERN
Any day now.

MOLLY
You got a name picked out?
18.


VERN
I can’t even get that woman to
decide what color to paint the
nursery.

MOLLY
(beat, walking)
Can’t believe I missed that deer in
the trunk.

VERN
Don’t be. I been doin this a long
time. Never checked for a deer in
the trunk. (Beat) Or any wildlife.

Molly sees something.

MOLLY
Chief.

He looks where her flashlight is pointed. There, sitting in
the snow, is A MAN IN HIS UNDERWEAR, frozen to death.

VERN
(beat)
Okay.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Drama","Crime"]

Summary Vern and Molly are walking through the snowy woods in Saint Cloud, Minnesota at dusk. They discuss Ida's upcoming childbirth and the difficulty of choosing a name. Molly mentions a missed deer in a car trunk, and Vern reassures her. Suddenly, Molly spots a frozen dead man in his underwear in the snow, leaving them in suspense. The scene ends with Vern acknowledging the presence of the frozen dead man.
Strengths
  • Engaging dialogue
  • Tension and suspense
  • Compelling characters
Weaknesses
  • Limited character development
  • Lack of resolution

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is well-written and effectively conveys a sense of tension and unease. The dialogue is engaging and the characters are intriguing. The conflict and emotional impact are high, making it a compelling scene.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of the scene, which involves the discovery of a frozen man in the woods, is intriguing and adds to the overall mystery and suspense of the story.

Plot: 9

The plot of the scene is well-developed and moves the story forward. It introduces new conflicts and raises questions about the characters' motivations and actions.

Originality: 7

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of discovering a dead body in the woods is not entirely unique, the characters' casual and humorous response adds a fresh approach. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue contributes to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters in the scene are well-defined and their interactions are compelling. Their dialogue reveals their personalities and motivations, adding depth to the story.

Character Changes: 7

The scene doesn't involve significant character changes, but it deepens our understanding of the characters and their motivations.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is not explicitly stated, but it can be inferred that Vern's internal goal is to maintain composure and not show fear or shock upon discovering the frozen dead body. This reflects his deeper need to appear strong and in control, despite the unsettling situation.

External Goal: 9

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to investigate the frozen dead body and determine the cause of death. This reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges they're facing, as they need to solve the mystery and potentially uncover a crime.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict in the scene is high, with the discovery of the frozen man and the tension between the characters. It creates a sense of suspense and keeps the audience engaged.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in this scene is moderate. While the discovery of the frozen dead body presents a significant obstacle, the characters' casual response and lack of immediate danger reduce the sense of opposition. However, the audience is left wondering about the cause of death and potential conflicts that may arise.

High Stakes: 9

The stakes are high in the scene, with the discovery of the frozen man and the tension between the characters. It creates a sense of danger and raises the stakes for the protagonist.

Story Forward: 9

The scene moves the story forward by introducing new conflicts and raising questions about the characters' actions. It adds to the overall mystery and suspense of the narrative.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because the audience doesn't know how the characters will react to the discovery of the frozen dead body. The casual and humorous response is unexpected and adds an element of surprise.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene evokes a range of emotions, including tension, unease, and curiosity. The characters' reactions and the high stakes contribute to the emotional impact.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue in the scene is engaging and reveals important information about the characters and their relationships. It effectively conveys the tension and conflict between them.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it presents a mysterious and unexpected situation that captures the audience's attention. The dialogue between the characters is intriguing and the discovery of the frozen dead body creates suspense and curiosity.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by gradually building suspense and tension. The dialogue and actions are paced in a way that keeps the audience engaged and curious about what will happen next.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses proper scene headings, character names, dialogue format, and action descriptions.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with an establishing shot, followed by character dialogue and actions, and ends with a cut to the next scene.


Critique
  • The scene lacks a clear purpose or conflict. It seems to be a transitional scene with no significant impact on the overall story.
  • The dialogue feels forced and lacks depth. The conversation between Vern and Molly about Ida and the nursery feels out of place and doesn't contribute to the scene or character development.
  • The discovery of the frozen man in his underwear feels random and disconnected from the rest of the story. It doesn't create any tension or advance the plot.
  • The scene lacks visual elements or actions that could enhance the storytelling and engage the audience.
  • The transition from the previous scene is abrupt and doesn't flow smoothly into this one.
Suggestions
  • Clarify the purpose of the scene and ensure it contributes to the overall story arc or character development.
  • Revise the dialogue to make it more meaningful and relevant to the scene or characters.
  • Consider introducing a conflict or tension in the scene to create more engagement.
  • Add visual elements or actions that enhance the storytelling and create a more immersive experience for the audience.
  • Improve the transition from the previous scene to make it more seamless and cohesive.



Scene 8 - Preparations for Painting
INT. THURMAN HOUSE. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - NIGHT

Vern comes home. He hangs his heavy coat on the wall.

VERN
Hiya, hon.

IDA (O.S.)
In the kitchen.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN. THURMAN HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Vern enters, kisses his wife. IDA (30s) is eight months
pregnant.

VERN
Something smells good.

IDA
(touches her belly)
Your boy wanted a hamburger.
19.


VERN
Sounds like my boy.

Vern goes into the

BEDROOM

Takes off his holster, locks his gun in the safe. Heading
back to the kitchen, Vern stops outside the BABY’S ROOM. All
the furniture -- crib, changing table, etc -- has been pushed
to the center. We see a tarp, paint trays and clean rollers
on the floor.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Drama","Crime","Mystery"]

Summary Vern comes home and greets his pregnant wife Ida. They discuss the smell of food and their unborn child's craving for a hamburger. Vern locks his gun in the safe and notices the baby's room has been cleared of furniture and prepared for painting.
Strengths
  • Effective establishment of tone and atmosphere
  • Introduction of important characters
  • Hinting at potential conflicts and tensions
Weaknesses
  • Lack of strong emotional impact
  • Dialogue could be more engaging

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively establishes the tone and atmosphere of the story, introduces important characters, and hints at potential conflicts and tensions. However, it lacks a strong emotional impact and the dialogue could be more engaging.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of exploring the personal lives of the characters and setting up potential conflicts is well-executed. However, it could benefit from more originality and unique elements.

Plot: 7

The plot progresses by introducing the personal lives of the characters and hinting at potential conflicts. However, it lacks a clear direction or major plot developments in this particular scene.

Originality: 5

The level of originality in this scene is relatively low. It portrays a familiar situation of a husband coming home to his pregnant wife and engaging in domestic activities. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds some freshness to the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are well-defined and their personalities are established through their interactions and dialogue. Their relationships and potential conflicts are also hinted at.

Character Changes: 5

There are no significant character changes in this scene, as it mainly focuses on introducing the characters and their relationships.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to express affection and support for their pregnant wife. It reflects their deeper need for connection and their desire to be a loving partner and parent.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to prepare the baby's room for painting. It reflects the immediate circumstances of their impending parenthood and the challenge of creating a welcoming space for their child.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

There are hints of potential conflicts and tensions between the characters, but the level of conflict is relatively low in this scene.

Opposition: 3

The opposition in this scene is minimal, as the focus is on the protagonist's domestic activities and their interactions with their pregnant wife.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, as it mainly focuses on establishing the characters and their relationships. However, potential conflicts and tensions hint at higher stakes in the future.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by introducing the personal lives of the characters and hinting at potential conflicts. However, it lacks major plot developments.

Unpredictability: 4

This scene is not particularly unpredictable as it portrays a typical domestic situation without any major surprises or twists.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 5

The scene lacks a strong emotional impact, as it mainly focuses on establishing the characters and their relationships.

Dialogue: 6

The dialogue serves its purpose in establishing the characters and their relationships. However, it could be more engaging and memorable.

Engagement: 7

This scene is engaging because it presents relatable characters in a familiar domestic setting. The dialogue and actions are naturalistic, drawing the audience into the characters' lives.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective in creating a sense of domestic tranquility and establishing the characters' relationships. It allows the audience to absorb the details of the scene without feeling rushed.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses standard scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and sets up the conflict of preparing the baby's room.


Critique
  • The scene lacks clear conflict or tension. It seems to be a transitional scene that doesn't contribute much to the overall story.
  • The dialogue between Vern and Ida is mundane and doesn't reveal any significant information or character development.
  • The visual description of the baby's room being prepared is vague and doesn't provide any context or meaning to the scene.
Suggestions
  • Introduce a conflict or tension in the scene to make it more engaging. This could be a disagreement between Vern and Ida about the baby's room or a concern about the upcoming birth.
  • Revise the dialogue to reveal more about Vern and Ida's relationship or their thoughts and feelings about becoming parents.
  • Provide more specific visual details about the baby's room preparation to give it significance and make it visually interesting.



Scene 9 - A Cozy Dinner Conversation
INT. KITCHEN. THURMAN HOUSE - NIGHT

Vern and Ida eat dinner.

VERN
(beat)
Molly found a wreck out one
thirteen. Looks like the driver
tried ta head out on foot, but got
lost, froze ta death in the woods.

IDA
Oh my.

VERN
Ya. Funny thing is, the fella was
just wearing underpants.

IDA
That so?

VERN
Ya. No ID. Nothin. Couldn’t find
his clothes anywhere.

IDA
Maybe he ate ‘em.

Vern nods like that’s a real possibility, then smiles. They
eat for a bit.

IDA (CONT’D)
I was thinking maybe blue. For the
nursery.

VERN
Ya?
20.


IDA
Earlier. I was thinking maybe
blue, but then I changed my mind.

VERN
Blue’s nice.

IDA
Maybe green.

Vern nods. We can tell they’ve been having this conversation
for months.

VERN
Green’s possible.
(beat)
Well, I’m ready to get painting.
Soon as you decide.

IDA
You’re a good man, Vern Thurman.
My sister was crazy telling me not
to marry you.

VERN
(beat, chews)
Your sister is crazy.

They eat for a while in comfortable silence.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Drama"]

Summary Vern and Ida enjoy dinner together in the kitchen of their home. They discuss a wreck that Molly found, where the driver froze to death in the woods. They talk about the driver's peculiar choice of wearing only underpants and not being able to find his clothes. The couple also discusses the color for the nursery, with Vern expressing his eagerness to start painting. Throughout the conversation, they share a loving and comfortable relationship, exchanging affectionate remarks. The scene ends with Vern and Ida continuing to eat in a peaceful silence.
Strengths
  • Engaging dialogue
  • Unique and intriguing elements
  • Effective tone
Weaknesses
  • Lack of high stakes
  • Limited conflict

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively combines dark humor with a sense of melancholy, creating an intriguing tone. The dialogue is engaging and reveals the characters' personalities. The unique elements add interest and contribute to the overall atmosphere.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of investigating a mysterious accident and discovering a frozen dead man in his underwear is intriguing and sets up a sense of mystery. The conversation about choosing a name for the baby adds depth to the characters and their personal lives.

Plot: 7

The plot progresses as Deputy Molly Solverson and Police Chief Vern Thurman investigate the accident and find the frozen dead man. The conversation about the baby's room adds a subplot and character development.

Originality: 3

The level of originality in this scene is low. The situations and conversations depicted are common and familiar in everyday life. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue is realistic but not particularly unique.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters are well-developed and their personalities shine through the dialogue. Molly is curious and determined, while Vern is supportive and caring. Their conversation about the baby reveals their personal lives and adds depth to their characters.

Character Changes: 6

There is a slight character change as Vern expresses his support and love for Ida, showcasing his caring nature. Molly's character remains consistent as she investigates the accident.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to have a peaceful and enjoyable dinner with their spouse. It reflects their deeper need for companionship and emotional connection.

External Goal: 5

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to decide on a color for the nursery. It reflects the immediate circumstance of preparing for the arrival of a baby.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 6

There is a moderate level of conflict in the scene, primarily in the investigation of the accident and the discovery of the frozen dead man. The conversation about the baby's room adds a lighter tone and contrasts with the darker elements.

Opposition: 3

The opposition in this scene is minimal. There are no significant obstacles or conflicts that the protagonist needs to overcome. The conversation between the characters is mostly harmonious.

High Stakes: 5

The stakes are relatively low in this scene, as it focuses more on character development and setting up future plot points. The discovery of the frozen dead man adds intrigue but doesn't immediately raise the stakes.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by introducing a new mystery with the frozen dead man and deepening the characters' personal lives through the conversation about the baby's room.

Unpredictability: 2

This scene is predictable because it focuses on mundane and everyday conversations. There are no unexpected twists or surprises.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene evokes a mix of emotions, including curiosity, humor, and a sense of melancholy. The discovery of the frozen dead man and the conversation about the baby's room add emotional depth to the scene.

Dialogue: 9

The dialogue is engaging and reveals the characters' personalities. It combines dark humor with genuine emotion, creating a unique tone. The conversation about the baby's room adds depth and showcases the characters' relationships.

Engagement: 6

This scene is engaging because it portrays a relatable and familiar interaction between a married couple. The dialogue and dynamics between the characters hold the audience's attention.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective in creating a natural and realistic flow. The dialogue and actions are well-timed, allowing for pauses and moments of reflection.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses proper scene headings, character names, and dialogue formatting. The scene is well-presented and easy to read.

Structure: 7

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with a location and time description, followed by character dialogue and minimal scene direction. The scene flows smoothly and is easy to follow.


Critique
  • The dialogue in this scene feels a bit disconnected from the previous scenes. It jumps from a discussion about a wreck and a frozen dead man to a conversation about nursery colors. The transition between these topics is abrupt and doesn't flow smoothly.
  • The dialogue between Vern and Ida lacks depth and emotional resonance. It feels like surface-level small talk rather than a meaningful conversation between a married couple. There is an opportunity to explore their relationship and build more depth in their interactions.
  • The scene lacks visual description and action. It primarily consists of dialogue and eating. Adding more visual elements and actions can help to create a more dynamic and engaging scene.
  • The scene ends abruptly without a clear resolution or transition to the next scene. It feels like it cuts off too soon and leaves the reader wanting more.
Suggestions
  • Consider revising the dialogue to create a smoother transition from the previous scenes. Find a way to connect the topics of the wreck and the frozen dead man to the conversation about nursery colors in a more organic way.
  • Develop the dialogue between Vern and Ida to reveal more about their relationship and add depth to their interactions. Explore their emotions, fears, and hopes regarding the upcoming baby and the nursery.
  • Add more visual description and action to the scene. Show the characters interacting with their environment, such as setting the table, pouring drinks, or gesturing while they talk. This will make the scene more visually engaging.
  • Provide a clearer resolution or transition at the end of the scene. Consider adding a final line or action that leads into the next scene or provides a sense of closure for this scene.



Scene 10 - Suspicion and Tension at Hess Trucking Company
INT. HESS TRUCKING COMPANY. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - DAY

A large garage housing a raised DISPATCH OFFICE. Through the
office window we see Sam talking to BRUCE GOLD (40s). Gold is
Sam’s lawyer. TWO BIG GUYS sit with them.

In the main garage there is a big rig parked along the far
wall. The logo on the trailer reads NARCOL. Sam Hess’s
truck is parked next to it.

Boxes of INFLATABLE WOMEN are stacked against the wall.
Mickey and Moe have one of them open. Mickey is using a high
pressure air hose to fill up one of the women. She gets
fatter and fatter, then explodes. They crack up.

MOE
Dad said we should take turns.

MICKEY
Dad told me he thinks you’re
retarded.
21.


Moe attacks him. They wrestle. Mickey gets Moe in a
headlock. Lorne Malvo enters the garage, watches them.

MALVO
You’re doing it wrong. You wanna
press your forearm against the back
of his neck, then grab your elbow
with the other hand. Choke him
right out.

The two boys separate, unsettled.

MICKEY
Whatcha want, mister?

MOE
Ya, mister. Whatcha want?

MALVO
Sign outside says Hess and Sons.

Malvo studies them, Tweedle Dum and Dumber.

MALVO (CONT’D)
Which is the older boy?

MICKEY
Me. Mickey. So that means I’m in
charge when dad’s gone.

MOE
Are not. Mom said --

MICKEY
Mom’s got nothing ta do with it,
faggot.

Upstairs, Sam sees his boys talking to Malvo, comes out of
the office.

SAM HESS
Help you with something?

Malvo sizes him up, ignoring the hired muscle.

MALVO
You Hess?

Hess and the two big guys come down the stairs. It’s clear
they don’t like strangers coming around, asking questions.

SAM HESS
Who wants ta know?
22.


Malvo checks to see if there’s another guy behind him asking
questions.

MALVO
Me.

He nods to the big rig.

MALVO (CONT’D)
See you do work for Narcol. You
know Romo?

SAM HESS
You know Romo?

MALVO
(beat)
Never heard of him.

Hess looks at his guys to see if they’re hearing this.

SAM HESS
Is he serious?

Hess closes on him.

SAM HESS (CONT’D)
Only two reasons to come to my
shop, friend. Either you need a
truck. Or you drive a truck. You a
truck driver?

Malvo is unintimidated.

MALVO
I was just talking to your boys. I
think the younger one’s a little
dim.

SAM HESS
What did you say?

MALVO
His IQ seems low, I’m saying. Have
you had him tested?

The two heavies close around Malvo.

MICKEY
Hit him, dad.

MOE
Ya, dad. Hit him.
23.


Bruce Gold clears his throat. Hess looks at him. Gold
shakes his head.

SAM HESS
I’m gonna restrain myself -- on
accounta you got an obvious head
injury -- and not beat you with you
to death with a tire iron. But I’m
gonna` ask you again. What the heck
do ya want?

MALVO
Just wanted to get a look at you.

Malvo gives Sam a slow once over.

MALVO (CONT’D)
Okay. That’ll do it.

Malvo walks out. Off Hess: what the fuck was that about?

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Drama","Thriller"]

Summary In this scene at the Hess Trucking Company, Sam Hess and his lawyer, Bruce Gold, are confronted by Lorne Malvo. As Mickey and Moe play with inflatable women in the garage, Malvo offers them wrestling advice. However, when Malvo starts questioning Sam about his connection to Narcol, tensions rise. Bruce Gold tries to mediate, but Sam threatens Malvo. The scene ends with Malvo leaving, leaving Sam and his men confused about his intentions.
Strengths
  • Sharp dialogue
  • Intense tone
  • Establishing tension and conflict
Weaknesses
  • Limited emotional impact

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively builds suspense and establishes conflict between the characters. The dialogue is sharp and the tone is intense, keeping the audience engaged.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of a mysterious stranger entering a trucking company and challenging the authority of the owner is intriguing and sets up potential conflicts and power dynamics.

Plot: 8

The plot of the scene revolves around the confrontation between Lorne Malvo and Sam Hess, which adds tension and advances the overall story.

Originality: 7

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the setting and characters are familiar, the use of inflatable women and the dark humor in the dialogue add a fresh and unexpected element. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue contributes to the originality of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-defined and their interactions create a sense of conflict and intrigue. Lorne Malvo's mysterious and intimidating presence adds depth to the scene.

Character Changes: 7

While there is no significant character change in this scene, it sets up potential changes and power dynamics between the characters.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to assert his authority and prove himself as the older and more capable brother. This reflects his deeper need for validation and recognition from his father, as well as his fear of being overshadowed by his younger brother.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to confront the stranger, Malvo, and protect his family's business. This reflects the immediate challenge of dealing with a potential threat to their reputation and safety.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between Lorne Malvo and Sam Hess is intense and creates a sense of danger and unpredictability.

Opposition: 8

The opposition in this scene is strong, as the protagonist is faced with a potential threat in the form of the stranger, Malvo. The audience is unsure of how the protagonist will handle the situation, which creates suspense and adds to the conflict.

High Stakes: 8

The stakes are high as Lorne Malvo challenges Sam Hess's authority and potentially disrupts the trucking business.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by introducing Lorne Malvo and establishing conflicts and tensions.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because the introduction of the stranger, Malvo, and his confrontational behavior adds an element of uncertainty to the situation. The audience is unsure of how the protagonist will react and what the consequences of their interaction will be.

Philosophical Conflict: 6

There is a philosophical conflict evident in this scene between the protagonist's belief in his own authority and the stranger's disregard for it. This challenges the protagonist's values and worldview, as he is forced to confront the possibility that he may not be as in control as he thinks.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene generates tension and intrigue, but the emotional impact is not as strong as other elements.

Dialogue: 9

The dialogue is sharp, intense, and reveals the power dynamics between the characters. It effectively conveys their personalities and motivations.

Engagement: 8

This scene is engaging because it introduces a potential threat to the protagonist and establishes a sense of tension and conflict. The dialogue and actions of the characters create intrigue and make the audience curious about what will happen next.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by gradually building tension through the dialogue and actions of the characters. The rhythm of the scene keeps the audience engaged and interested in the unfolding conflict.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. The scene headings, action lines, and dialogue are properly formatted and easy to follow.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and sets up the conflict in a clear and concise manner.


Critique
  • The scene lacks clear objectives and conflicts. It is unclear why Malvo is approaching Sam Hess and what his intentions are. The dialogue between the characters feels forced and lacks depth. The interaction between Mickey and Moe is unrealistic and does not contribute to the overall story.
  • The scene lacks visual descriptions and fails to create a vivid and engaging setting. The garage and the characters' actions are not well-described, making it difficult for the reader to visualize the scene.
  • The dialogue feels unnatural and lacks authenticity. The characters' lines are clichéd and do not reveal much about their personalities or motivations. The conversation between Sam Hess and Malvo lacks tension and fails to create a sense of suspense.
  • The scene lacks a clear resolution or payoff. It ends abruptly without providing any closure or furthering the plot.
  • The scene does not effectively advance the overall story or develop the characters. It feels disconnected from the previous and following scenes, making it difficult for the audience to understand its relevance.
Suggestions
  • Clarify Malvo's objectives and motivations in approaching Sam Hess. Create a clear conflict between the characters to drive the scene forward.
  • Revise the dialogue to make it more authentic and revealing of the characters' personalities and motivations. Avoid clichés and focus on creating unique voices for each character.
  • Provide more visual descriptions to create a vivid and engaging setting. Describe the garage, the characters' actions, and the atmosphere to enhance the reader's visualization of the scene.
  • Consider adding a resolution or payoff to the scene to provide closure and further the plot. This could be achieved through a twist, revelation, or a significant decision made by one of the characters.
  • Ensure that the scene is connected to the overall story and contributes to the development of the characters. Make sure it has a clear purpose and advances the plot in a meaningful way.



Scene 11 - Unwelcome Arrival
EXT. LESTER’S BROTHER’S HOUSE. MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - DAY

An expensive two story home. Lester and Pearl stand on the
threshold with a meatloaf. Lester’s broken nose is taped,
his eyes black.

PEARL
How does a grown man fall over his
own feet?

LESTER NYGAARD
It was ice. I slipped on ice.
(feels his nose)
We should have cancelled.

PEARL
Don’t be a baby.

Unhappy, Lester rings the bell. SCOTTY, 9, opens the door.

LESTER NYGAARD
(animated)
We’re here.

The boy SLAMS the door in their face. Beat. Lester rings
the bell again. KITTY NYGAARD, 32, opens the door. She’s
pretty, well appointed.

LESTER NYGAARD (CONT’D)
(tries again)
We’re here.
24.


KITTY
Come on in. Ron’s working the ham.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Drama","Crime"]

Summary Lester and Pearl arrive at Lester's brother's house with a meatloaf. Lester's nose is taped and his eyes are black from a fall on ice. Scotty, Lester's nephew, slams the door in their face. Lester rings the bell again and Kitty, Lester's sister-in-law, opens the door. The conflict arises when Scotty slams the door, creating a tense and uncomfortable atmosphere. The scene ends with Kitty inviting Lester and Pearl to come inside.
Strengths
  • Effective dialogue
  • Establishing tone and tension
  • Introducing new characters
Weaknesses
  • Limited exploration of emotions
  • Lack of significant character change

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively establishes the tone of unhappiness and confusion through the dialogue and actions of the characters. It also introduces new characters and sets up potential conflicts.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of Lester visiting his brother's house after his injury is interesting and adds depth to his character. It also sets up potential conflicts and reveals more about his family dynamics.

Plot: 7

The plot of the scene revolves around Lester's visit to his brother's house and the strained interactions with his family. It sets up potential conflicts and hints at underlying tensions.

Originality: 4

The level of originality in this scene is relatively low. The situations and dialogue are familiar and do not offer any fresh approaches. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue is average, without any standout moments.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters in the scene, particularly Lester and Kitty, are well-developed and their personalities shine through their dialogue and actions. Their interactions reveal their relationships and add depth to the story.

Character Changes: 6

Lester's character undergoes a slight change as he tries to put on a brave face despite his injury. However, the change is not significant in this scene.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to be accepted and welcomed by his family. This reflects his deeper need for validation and belonging.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to attend a family gathering at his brother's house. This reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges he is facing, such as his broken nose and the cold weather.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 8

The scene has a high level of conflict, both in the strained interactions between Lester and his family and the potential conflicts set up through dialogue and actions.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in this scene is moderate. The protagonist faces resistance from his family, but it is not a major obstacle that the audience is unsure of how it will go.

High Stakes: 6

The stakes in the scene are relatively low, focusing more on the strained relationships and potential conflicts rather than life-or-death situations.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by introducing new characters, setting up potential conflicts, and revealing more about Lester's family dynamics.

Unpredictability: 6

This scene is somewhat unpredictable because the audience does not know how the protagonist's family will react to his arrival. The door being slammed in their face adds a touch of surprise.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene evokes a sense of unhappiness and tension, which creates an emotional impact on the audience. However, it could have delved deeper into the characters' emotions.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue in the scene effectively conveys the unhappiness and tension between the characters. It also reveals their personalities and sets up potential conflicts.

Engagement: 7

This scene is engaging because it introduces conflict and tension through the protagonist's physical injuries and his strained relationship with his family. The dialogue and actions of the characters create a sense of anticipation and curiosity.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene is effective in creating a sense of tension and anticipation. The short and concise dialogue exchanges, as well as the quick actions, contribute to a steady rhythm.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It includes scene headings, character names, dialogue, and action lines in the correct format.

Structure: 8

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with an establishing shot and then moves into a series of character interactions and dialogue.


Critique
  • The scene lacks clear context and connection to the previous scenes. It is unclear why Lester and Pearl are at Lester's brother's house and what their purpose is.
  • The dialogue feels generic and lacks depth. There is no indication of the characters' personalities or their relationship with each other.
  • The action and description are minimal, leaving the scene feeling empty and lacking visual interest.
  • The scene lacks conflict or tension, making it unengaging for the audience.
  • There is no clear resolution or payoff in the scene, leaving the reader wondering about its purpose.
Suggestions
  • Provide more context and establish the purpose of Lester and Pearl's visit to Lester's brother's house. This will help the audience understand the stakes and motivations of the characters.
  • Develop the dialogue to reveal the characters' personalities and deepen their relationships. Add subtext and emotional layers to make the scene more engaging.
  • Enrich the action and description to create a vivid visual experience for the reader. Use sensory details and specific imagery to bring the scene to life.
  • Introduce conflict or tension into the scene to create a sense of drama and keep the audience invested. This could be through a disagreement between characters or an unexpected event.
  • Ensure the scene has a clear resolution or payoff that advances the story or reveals something significant about the characters. This will give the scene purpose and make it more satisfying for the audience.



Scene 12 - A Light-hearted Kitchen Conversation
INT. KITCHEN. BROTHER’S HOUSE - DAY

RONALD NYGAARD (30s) stands at the kitchen counter. It’s
clear he got all the looks and charm in the family. Lester
holds a can of beer with a straw in it. Ron massages honey
into a ham with his bare hands.

Behind them, Kitty and Pearl set the table. Scotty watches
TV in the other room.

RON
-- took the whole team down to
Duluth Tuesday. Big spread at the
Marriot.

PEAL
Ooh. I’ve always wanted ta stay
there.

RON
Ya. It’s real sweet. King sized
bed. View of the lake. You name it.
Boss took me out for dinner.

KITTY
Just the two of them.

RON
Steak big as a catcher’s mitt.
Said, Ronny, you’re going places in
this world.

KITTY
Gave him a raise and a corner
office.

PEARL
Hear that, Lester? A corner
office. Where two walls meet.

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya. Real good.

PEARL
And him your younger brother.

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya. I said I heard.
25.


KITTY
Vice President Sales, Midwest
Region.

Ron massages the ham.

RON
Bought the surround sound to
celebrate. Pretty sweet, huh?

Lester sips beer through a straw, watches his brother work
the meat.

LESTER NYGAARD
You may have ta marry that ham, you
get any more familiar with it.

RON
Saw it on Rachel Ray. She says
massaging breaks the muscle down.
Makes the meat juicier.

PEARL
Lester never wants to try new
things.

LESTER NYGAARD
Now hold on -- that’s not --

KITTY
Oh, we make Scotty try stuff all
the time. Ron says we hafta open
his horizons.

RON
Broaden his horizons. It’s a big
world, ya now. There’s more to
life than just Minnesota.

Lester sips gingerly from his can of beer.

RON (CONT’D)
Took a real tumble, huh?

LESTER NYGAARD
There’s a spot over by the fire
station. Always icy. Don’t know
what the heck I was thinkin’.

Ron washes his hands.
26.


RON
(to Lester)
Come out ta the garage. Help me
get some more beer.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary In this scene, Ronald Nygaard massages honey into a ham while Lester holds a can of beer. Kitty and Pearl set the table, and Scotty watches TV. Ron talks about his recent trip to Duluth and his boss taking him out for dinner. Kitty and Pearl tease Lester about Ron's success, and Ron suggests broadening Scotty's horizons. Lester jokes about Ron getting too familiar with the ham. The scene ends with Ron asking Lester to come to the garage for more beer.
Strengths
  • Humorous dialogue
  • Well-developed characters
  • Engaging family dynamics
Weaknesses
  • Lack of significant plot progression
  • Minimal character change

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively establishes the family dynamics and humor, providing an entertaining and engaging experience for the audience.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of a dysfunctional family gathering for dinner is not entirely unique, but the scene executes it well with humor and engaging dialogue.

Plot: 6

The plot in this scene is minimal, mainly focusing on the interactions and conversations between the characters during the dinner.

Originality: 7

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of a family gathering and casual conversation is familiar, the specific dialogue and interactions between the characters feel authentic and unique. The characters' actions and dialogue reflect their individual personalities and relationships.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and distinct, each contributing to the humor and dynamics of the scene. Their interactions and dialogue showcase their personalities effectively.

Character Changes: 3

There is minimal character change in the scene, with the focus more on establishing and showcasing the existing dynamics between the characters.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to feel validated and respected by his family, particularly his brother. He wants to be seen as successful and accomplished.

External Goal: 6

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to bond with his brother and engage in a shared activity (getting more beer). It reflects the immediate circumstances of the family gathering and the need for social interaction.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 4

There is minimal conflict in the scene, with most of the focus on light-hearted conversations and interactions.

Opposition: 4

The opposition in this scene is relatively weak, as there are no significant obstacles or conflicts that the protagonist needs to overcome. The conversation is mostly light-hearted and friendly.

High Stakes: 2

The stakes in the scene are low, mainly revolving around family dynamics and humorous interactions.

Story Forward: 4

The scene does not significantly move the overall story forward, but it provides insight into the characters and their relationships.

Unpredictability: 5

This scene is somewhat unpredictable because it introduces unexpected elements such as the protagonist massaging a ham and the casual banter between the characters. However, the overall progression of the scene is relatively predictable.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 5

The scene elicits some emotional connection through humor and relatable family dynamics, but it is not particularly emotionally impactful.

Dialogue: 9

The dialogue is witty, humorous, and natural, capturing the essence of the characters and their relationships. It adds depth and entertainment value to the scene.

Engagement: 8

This scene is engaging because it presents relatable and humorous interactions between the characters. The dialogue flows naturally and keeps the audience interested in the dynamics of the family gathering.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by maintaining a steady rhythm and allowing the dialogue to flow naturally. It keeps the audience engaged without feeling rushed or slow.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It includes scene headings, character names, dialogue, and action descriptions in a clear and organized manner.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and progresses the conversation in a logical and coherent manner.


Critique
  • The scene lacks clear conflict or tension, making it feel flat and unengaging.
  • The dialogue feels mundane and lacks depth or subtext.
  • There is a lack of visual elements or actions to enhance the scene and make it more visually interesting.
  • The scene does not contribute significantly to the overall plot or character development.
  • The pacing of the scene feels slow and could benefit from tighter editing.
Suggestions
  • Introduce a conflict or tension to make the scene more engaging. This could be a disagreement between the characters, a hidden secret, or an unexpected event.
  • Add subtext to the dialogue to create depth and intrigue. The characters could have underlying motivations or hidden agendas that are hinted at through their words.
  • Include more visual elements or actions to make the scene visually interesting. This could involve characters interacting with their environment or engaging in physical actions that reveal their emotions.
  • Ensure that the scene contributes to the overall plot or character development. It should reveal something new about the characters or advance the story in some way.
  • Consider tightening the pacing of the scene by removing any unnecessary dialogue or actions that do not contribute to the scene's purpose.



Scene 13 - Confrontation in the Garage
INT. GARAGE. BROTHER’S HOUSE - DAY

A sweet setup with tools hanging on the wall. Ron opens a
mini-fridge, hands Lester a beer.

RON
We took Scotty to a specialist last
month. Think he might have the
autism. Won’t stop drawin’ on the
walls. Also, Kitty found a mason
jar in his closet. I guess he pees
in it at night. What’s that about?
Hey. Wanna see something cool?

He goes over to a locked footlocker, opens the padlock with a
key.

RON (CONT’D)
Take a look at this baby.

Lester comes over.

ANGLE ON THE FOOTLOCKER

Inside is a large automatic weapon, gleaming and deadly.

LESTER NYGAARD
Geez. What is it?

RON
That there is your M-249 SAW light
machine gun. Sometimes referred to
as ‘the piglet.’

LESTER NYGAARD
Are you allowed to -- can you even
have that?

RON
Is it legal? Technically no way.
But I got a buddy works supply over
Camp Ripley. And heck, I’m an
American. I pay my taxes. Take a
look. It’s gas operated, air
cooled. Shoots seven-hundred-twenty-
five rounds per minute.
27.


He takes the machine gun out of the box, hefts it, then hands
it to Lester, who, unprepared for the weight, DROPS IT on the
concrete floor.

LESTER NYGAARD
Aw geez.

Ron bends down. The machine gun is clearly damaged.

LESTER NYGAARD (CONT’D)
You shoulda told me it was so
heavy. Is it okay?

RON
No, Lester. It’s not okay. You
bent the darn --
(sighs)
Why are you such a G.D. screw up?

LESTER NYGAARD
Hey, now --

RON
Ever since you were -- And now
Kitty said she talked to Pearl last
week. And she’s had it. Your wife.
Said yer acting just plain weird.
Mopin’ around. Said she caught you
standing in the bathroom with yer
toothbrush in yer hand just looking
in the mirror. Said foam was
comin’ outta yer mouth like a rabid
dog.

LESTER NYGAARD
That’s -- come on -- that’s not --
how I may -- or may not -- be
feeling. And fer yer information I
was -- I hadn’t had a lotta sleep
the night before. So the
toothpaste -- that was just --

RON
Did you really trip on the ice and
break yer nose?

LESTER NYGAARD
Ya. Yes. I told ya. Outside the
fire station. Ya know they run the
hoses and wash the trucks and the
ground gets all wet. Real slippery.

Ron shakes his head.
28.


RON
Guys at work. They talk about how
they look up to their brothers.
Their older brothers.
(beat)
Sometimes I tell people you’re
dead.

LESTER NYGAARD
You --

RON
I mean, heck, Lester. You’re forty
years old. When are you gonna get
yer act together?

Beat. Lester stares at him, ire rising.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Drama"]

Summary In this tense and confrontational scene, Ron shows Lester an illegal automatic weapon, but Lester accidentally drops it, damaging the weapon. Ron becomes angry with Lester and confronts him about his strange behavior and his wife's concerns. The scene ends with Ron expressing his disappointment in Lester and questioning when he will get his act together.
Strengths
  • Strong dialogue
  • Suspenseful tone
  • Revealing character moments
Weaknesses
  • None identified

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene is well-written and engaging, with strong dialogue and a suspenseful tone. It introduces a significant plot development and raises the stakes for the characters.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of Ron having an illegal weapon adds tension and danger to the story. It also hints at a darker side of his character.

Plot: 9

The plot takes a significant turn with the introduction of the weapon. It raises questions about Ron's intentions and creates conflict within the scene.

Originality: 8

This scene demonstrates a level of originality through its portrayal of a tense and emotionally charged conversation between two brothers. The dialogue feels authentic and reveals the complexities of their relationship. The presence of the weapon adds a layer of intrigue and foreshadows potential conflicts to come.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The scene reveals more about Ron's character and his relationship with Lester. It adds depth to their dynamic and raises questions about their motivations.

Character Changes: 7

Ron's character is revealed to have a darker side, which changes the audience's perception of him. Lester's character is also further developed through his interactions with Ron.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to prove himself and gain his brother's respect. He wants to show that he is capable and not a screw-up, as his brother implies. This reflects his deeper need for validation and acceptance from his family.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to impress his brother by showing him a cool weapon. This reflects the immediate circumstances of their conversation and the protagonist's desire to prove himself.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between Ron and Lester escalates with the revelation of the weapon. It creates a sense of danger and uncertainty.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in this scene is strong as the protagonist faces criticism and judgment from his brother. The audience is unsure of how the protagonist will respond and whether he will be able to overcome the challenges presented to him.

High Stakes: 9

The revelation of the illegal weapon raises the stakes for the characters and adds a sense of danger and urgency to the story.

Story Forward: 9

The scene moves the story forward by introducing a significant plot development and raising the stakes for the characters.

Unpredictability: 7

This scene is unpredictable because it introduces a weapon and raises questions about the characters' motivations and potential conflicts. The audience is left wondering how the protagonist's actions will impact his relationship with his brother and what consequences may arise from the damaged weapon.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

There is a philosophical conflict evident in this scene between the protagonist's desire for validation and acceptance and his brother's judgment and criticism. This challenges the protagonist's beliefs about himself and his worthiness.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene elicits a sense of unease and tension, as well as curiosity about Ron's intentions and Lester's behavior.

Dialogue: 9

The dialogue is well-crafted and reveals important information about the characters and their relationships. It also creates tension and conflict within the scene.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it presents a tense and emotionally charged conversation between two brothers. The dialogue reveals their complex relationship and the internal struggles of the protagonist. The presence of the weapon adds intrigue and raises questions about the characters' motivations and potential conflicts.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by gradually building tension through the dialogue and actions of the characters. The scene starts with a casual conversation and escalates to a dramatic moment when the protagonist drops the weapon. This pacing keeps the audience engaged and interested in the outcome of the scene.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. The scene headings, character names, and dialogue are properly formatted, and the scene direction is concise and effective in conveying the actions and emotions of the characters.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with an establishing shot and introduces the characters and setting. The dialogue and actions are clearly presented, and the scene ends with a dramatic moment that leaves the audience wanting to know what happens next.


Critique
  • The scene starts with a description of the garage setting, but it lacks specific details that could help create a more vivid image in the reader's mind.
  • The dialogue between Ron and Lester feels forced and unnatural. The conversation jumps from Scotty's potential autism to a machine gun without a clear transition or logical flow.
  • The revelation of the machine gun feels out of place and doesn't seem to serve a clear purpose in the scene. It comes across as a random and unnecessary addition.
  • The dialogue between Ron and Lester lacks depth and emotional resonance. It feels like a surface-level conversation without any real conflict or tension.
  • The ending of the scene, with Ron criticizing Lester and questioning his ability to get his act together, feels abrupt and doesn't provide a satisfying resolution or closure.
Suggestions
  • Provide more specific details about the garage setting to create a more immersive and visually engaging scene.
  • Reorganize the dialogue to create a more natural and logical flow of conversation. Start with Scotty's potential autism and explore that topic before introducing the machine gun.
  • Consider the purpose of the machine gun in the scene. If it doesn't serve a clear narrative or character development purpose, consider removing it to streamline the scene.
  • Add depth and emotional resonance to the dialogue between Ron and Lester. Explore their relationship dynamics and create more conflict or tension between them.
  • Revise the ending of the scene to provide a more satisfying resolution or closure. Consider how the conversation between Ron and Lester can lead to a meaningful moment or revelation.



Scene 14 - Tense Confrontation and Phone Call
INT. CAR - NIGHT

Lester drives. Pearl sits next to him, fuming.

PEARL
Yer own brother. You didn’t haveta
hit him. I mean, seriously. What
is the matter with you?

Lester drives, jaw clenched. The world is pressing down.

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE. ST. LOUIS, MS - NIGHT

A MAN sits alone in an office. This is MR. RUNDLE. Outside
his window is the skyline of a mid-western city. His
furniture is bland. No decorations on the wall. The man is
similarly forgettable. His phone rings.

MR. RUNDLE
(answering)
Claims and Adjustments.

INTERCUT WITH:
Genres: ["Drama","Crime"]

Summary Lester drives while Pearl sits next to him, fuming. Pearl confronts Lester about hitting his own brother, expressing her disapproval. The scene then cuts to an office in St. Louis where Mr. Rundle sits alone. His phone rings, and he answers the call, identifying himself as working in Claims and Adjustments.
Strengths
  • Tense atmosphere
  • Realistic dialogue
  • Strong character dynamics
Weaknesses
  • Limited exploration of themes

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively portrays the tension and conflict within the family, creating a sense of unease and anticipation for future events.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of family dynamics and the consequences of Lester's actions is well-executed, providing a compelling narrative thread.

Plot: 7

The plot progresses as Lester's strained relationship with his family is further explored, setting the stage for future conflicts.

Originality: 6

The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the setting and situation are familiar, the writer adds authenticity to the characters' actions and dialogue, making them feel real and relatable.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters are well-developed and their interactions effectively convey their emotions and motivations.

Character Changes: 7

Lester's strained relationship with his family and the consequences of his actions lead to some character development.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to control his anger and frustration. Lester's clenched jaw and Pearl's accusation suggest that he is struggling to keep his emotions in check.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to answer the phone call and handle claims and adjustments. This reflects the immediate circumstances of his job and the challenges he faces in dealing with customer complaints.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between Lester and his family is palpable, creating a sense of unease and anticipation.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in this scene is moderate. Pearl's accusation and Lester's internal struggle create a small obstacle for the protagonist, and the audience is unsure of how he will respond.

High Stakes: 8

The stakes are high as Lester's actions have strained his relationship with his family, potentially leading to further consequences.

Story Forward: 7

The scene moves the story forward by deepening the conflict and setting up future events.

Unpredictability: 6

This scene is somewhat unpredictable because the audience doesn't know how Lester will respond to Pearl's accusation or how the phone call will go.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 8

The scene elicits strong emotions from the audience, particularly due to the strained family dynamics.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is natural and reveals the tension and conflict between the characters.

Engagement: 8

This scene is engaging because it presents a conflict between the characters and creates tension through their dialogue and actions.

Pacing: 8

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by creating a sense of tension and urgency. The concise dialogue and minimalistic description maintain a steady rhythm.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses proper scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It introduces the setting and characters, establishes the conflict, and sets up the next sequence.


Critique
  • The transition from Lester and Pearl in the car to Mr. Rundle in his office is abrupt and confusing. It is not clear how these two scenes are connected or why they are being shown together.
  • The dialogue between Lester and Pearl lacks depth and specificity. Pearl's anger and frustration are expressed in a generic and cliched way, which makes her character feel one-dimensional.
  • The description of Mr. Rundle and his office is vague and lacks visual details. It is difficult to form a clear mental image of the setting and the character.
  • The phone call with Mr. Rundle is introduced without any context or explanation. It is unclear why this phone call is important or how it relates to the previous scene.
  • The scene ends abruptly without any resolution or development. It leaves the reader confused and unsatisfied.
Suggestions
  • Provide a smoother transition between the car scene and Mr. Rundle's office. Clarify the connection between these two scenes and why they are being shown together.
  • Develop Pearl's character and dialogue to make her more nuanced and unique. Show specific examples of how Lester's actions have affected her and why she is angry.
  • Add more visual details to the description of Mr. Rundle and his office to create a clearer mental image for the reader.
  • Provide context and explanation for the phone call with Mr. Rundle. Show why this phone call is important and how it relates to the overall story.
  • Give the scene a clearer resolution or development. Provide a sense of closure or progression that leaves the reader satisfied.



Scene 15 - Malvo's Detour
INT. CAR (TRAVELING). SAINT CLOUD, MN - SAME TIME

Lorne Malvo drives in a newly stolen car, on his phone. We
see an SUV in front of him.

MALVO
It’s me.
29.


MR. RUNDLE
Mr. Malvo. Your call was expected
yesterday.

MALVO
I got delayed.

MR. RUNDLE
Problems?

MALVO
Car trouble. Fixed now.

MR. RUNDLE
But you finished the assignment?

MALVO
Of course.

MR. RUNDLE
And when can they expect you in
Duluth? The new client is anxious
to begin.

MALVO
Soon. I took a detour.

MR. RUNDLE
And the nature of this detour.

The SUV ahead of Malvo pulls into THE LUCKY PENNY, a strip
club. Malvo follows.

MALVO
Personal. Shouldn’t be more than a
day or two.

MR. RUNDLE
I’ll let Duluth know.

Malvo hangs up. He watches Sam Hess get out of the SUV with
his two guys, walk to the front door.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Drama","Thriller"]

Summary Lorne Malvo, driving in a stolen car, talks on the phone with Mr. Rundle about his delayed arrival and car trouble. They confirm the completion of his assignment and mention a new client in Duluth. Malvo follows an SUV into The Lucky Penny strip club and watches Sam Hess and his two guys enter before hanging up the phone.
Strengths
  • Engaging dialogue
  • Tension-building
  • Intriguing characters
Weaknesses
  • Limited emotional impact
  • Minimal character change

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 8

The scene effectively establishes the tone and genre of the story, introduces a new character with a compelling backstory, and creates tension through the conflict between Malvo and Mr. Rundle. The dialogue is engaging and hints at the larger plot.


Story Content

Concept: 7

The concept of a mysterious hitman involved in criminal activities is intriguing and adds depth to the overall story. The introduction of the conflict between Malvo and Mr. Rundle adds an additional layer of suspense.

Plot: 8

The plot progresses as Malvo informs Mr. Rundle about his delayed arrival in Duluth and his detour. This creates anticipation and raises questions about Malvo's motives and the potential consequences of his actions.

Originality: 4

The level of originality in this scene is relatively low. The situations and dialogue are fairly standard for a crime thriller genre, and there are no fresh approaches or unique elements that distinguish it from similar scenes in other screenplays. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue is believable and consistent with their roles.


Character Development

Characters: 9

The characters in this scene are well-defined and intriguing. Lorne Malvo is mysterious and dangerous, while Mr. Rundle represents a potential threat. Their interaction adds depth to the story and raises the stakes.

Character Changes: 6

There is minimal character change in this scene, as it primarily focuses on introducing Lorne Malvo and establishing the conflict between him and Mr. Rundle.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to maintain his cover and deceive Mr. Rundle about the true nature of his detour. This reflects his deeper need for autonomy and freedom, as well as his fear of being discovered and facing consequences for his actions.

External Goal: 7

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to follow Sam Hess, who is involved in the assignment, to gather information or potentially carry out a task. This goal reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges the protagonist is facing in his role as a criminal.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict between Malvo and Mr. Rundle is intense and sets up a power struggle. The scene also hints at potential conflicts to come, adding to the overall tension of the story.

Opposition: 7

The opposition in this scene is moderate. While there is no direct conflict or obstacle, the protagonist's need to maintain his cover and deceive Mr. Rundle creates a sense of opposition and potential consequences.

High Stakes: 9

The stakes are high in this scene as it involves a mysterious hitman involved in criminal activities. The conflict between Malvo and Mr. Rundle suggests potential danger and consequences for the characters involved.

Story Forward: 8

The scene moves the story forward by introducing a new character, establishing conflict, and hinting at the larger plot. It creates anticipation and raises questions about the direction of the story.

Unpredictability: 6

This scene is somewhat unpredictable because the audience is unsure of the protagonist's true intentions and the potential consequences of his detour. However, the overall outcome and direction of the scene are still relatively predictable.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 7

The scene creates a sense of unease and anticipation, but the emotional impact is not as pronounced as in other scenes. However, the potential danger and high stakes contribute to the overall emotional impact.

Dialogue: 8

The dialogue is sharp and engaging, revealing information about the characters and their motivations. It effectively conveys tension and sets up the conflict between Malvo and Mr. Rundle.

Engagement: 7

This scene is engaging because it introduces a sense of mystery and intrigue through the protagonist's evasive dialogue and the unexpected detour he takes. The audience is left wondering about the true nature of the assignment and the potential consequences of the protagonist's actions.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene is effective in building tension and maintaining the audience's interest. The concise and direct dialogue exchanges contribute to a brisk pace.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses standard scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

Structure: 8

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with an establishing shot and then transitions to a series of dialogue exchanges between the protagonist and Mr. Rundle.


Critique
  • The scene lacks clear context and connection to the previous scenes. It is unclear how Lorne Malvo's storyline relates to Lester and Pearl's storyline.
  • The dialogue between Malvo and Mr. Rundle is vague and lacks specificity. The audience is left with many unanswered questions about the nature of Malvo's assignment and detour.
  • The scene lacks visual elements and actions, making it feel static and unengaging.
  • The emotional tone of the scene is unclear. It is not clear whether Malvo is being truthful or deceptive in his conversation with Mr. Rundle.
  • The scene ends abruptly without a clear resolution or transition to the next scene.
Suggestions
  • Provide clearer context and connection to the previous scenes. Establish how Lorne Malvo's storyline intersects with Lester and Pearl's storyline.
  • Revise the dialogue to provide more specific information about Malvo's assignment and detour. Clarify the nature of his work and the reason for the detour.
  • Introduce visual elements and actions to make the scene more dynamic and engaging. Show Malvo's reactions or actions that reveal his true intentions or emotions.
  • Establish a clear emotional tone for the scene. Decide whether Malvo is being honest or deceptive in his conversation with Mr. Rundle and convey that through dialogue and actions.
  • Provide a clearer resolution or transition at the end of the scene to create a smoother flow between scenes.



Scene 16 - A Sudden Murder and an Urgent Phone Call
INT. BACK ROOM. THE LUCKY PENNY - NIGHT

Sam Hess is giving it to a HOOKER, who couldn’t look more
bored, a cigarette dangling from her lips.

HOOKER
Oh, yeah, big fella. Oh, yeah.
30.


Hess works towards his big finish, huffing and puffing. Then
suddenly, he STOPS. BLOOD pours from his mouth. The hooker
screams as Hess falls on top of her, revealing: LORNE MALVO,
who has just stuck a KNIFE into the back of Hess’s head.
Hess blocks the hooker’s view.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM. THURMAN HOUSE. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - NIGHT

Vern is sleeping next to his wife. The phone rings.

VERN
Ya?
(beat, listening)
Aw geez. Where?
(beat, listening)
Okay. Pick me up, huh?

He sits up, scratches. Ida is half awake.

IDA
Gotta go?

VERN
Homicide. Molly’s coming ta get me.
Go back to sleep, hon.

She throws her arm over him, sleepily.

IDA
Love ya.

VERN
Love ya too.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Drama","Thriller"]

Summary In this scene, Sam Hess engages in a sexual encounter with a bored hooker in the back room of The Lucky Penny. Suddenly, Lorne Malvo appears and brutally stabs Hess in the head, causing him to fall on top of the hooker. Meanwhile, Vern receives a phone call about a homicide and prepares to leave with Molly. The emotional tone is tense and violent, with a sense of anticipation and urgency. The conflict arises from the murder, which is partially resolved when Hess falls on top of the hooker, blocking her view. The scene ends with Vern and Ida expressing their love for each other before Vern departs for the homicide.
Strengths
  • Intense and suspenseful atmosphere
  • Effective introduction of a new antagonist
  • Strong emotional impact
Weaknesses
  • Minimal dialogue

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is highly impactful and intense, with a shocking murder and the introduction of a new character. It effectively builds suspense and raises the stakes.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a sudden murder in a strip club adds a layer of danger and unpredictability to the story. It introduces a new antagonist and raises the stakes for the main characters.

Plot: 8

The plot is advanced by the introduction of Lorne Malvo, a dangerous character who will likely have a significant impact on the story. The murder also adds a new layer of conflict and tension.

Originality: 8

This scene demonstrates a level of originality through its portrayal of violence and moral ambiguity. The actions and dialogue of the characters feel authentic and contribute to the overall atmosphere of the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters in this scene are well-defined and their actions and reactions contribute to the tension and conflict. Lorne Malvo is introduced as a mysterious and dangerous antagonist.

Character Changes: 7

While there is not a significant character change in this scene, the introduction of Lorne Malvo as a new antagonist sets the stage for potential character transformations in the future.

Internal Goal: 8

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is not explicitly stated, but it can be inferred that Lorne Malvo's goal is to eliminate Sam Hess, possibly as part of a larger plan or personal vendetta. This goal reflects Malvo's darker nature and his willingness to use violence to achieve his objectives.

External Goal: 9

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to kill Sam Hess. This goal reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges that Lorne Malvo is facing, such as the need to eliminate a potential threat or obstacle.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 9

The conflict in this scene is high, with a sudden and brutal murder taking place. It raises the stakes for the main characters and introduces a new source of danger.

Opposition: 9

The opposition in this scene is strong, as Lorne Malvo faces the challenge of killing Sam Hess without being detected or stopped. The audience is unsure of how the situation will unfold, adding to the tension and suspense.

High Stakes: 10

The stakes are high in this scene due to the sudden murder and the introduction of a dangerous antagonist. The characters' lives and safety are at risk.

Story Forward: 9

The scene moves the story forward by introducing a new antagonist and escalating the tension. It sets the stage for future conflicts and developments.

Unpredictability: 8

This scene is unpredictable because it introduces a sudden act of violence that is unexpected and shocking. The audience is left uncertain about the future events and the consequences of the characters' actions.

Philosophical Conflict: 7

There is a philosophical conflict evident in this scene between Lorne Malvo's value system, which prioritizes violence and self-interest, and the societal norms and moral values that are being violated through his actions. This conflict challenges Malvo's beliefs and values, as well as the audience's perception of right and wrong.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene has a strong emotional impact due to the shocking murder and the fear and panic of the characters involved. It elicits a visceral response from the audience.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue in this scene is minimal but effective. It conveys the shock and fear of the characters involved in the murder.

Engagement: 9

This scene is engaging because it immediately grabs the audience's attention with its violent and suspenseful opening. The concise dialogue and evocative description keep the audience invested in the unfolding events.

Pacing: 9

The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by creating a sense of tension and suspense. The quick cuts between different locations and the concise dialogue keep the scene moving at a brisk pace.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses proper scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting to clearly convey the events and dialogue.

Structure: 9

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It effectively establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and presents a conflict that propels the narrative forward.


Critique
  • The scene starts abruptly without any context or buildup. It jumps from a strip club to a bedroom without any transition or connection between the two locations.
  • The dialogue between the hooker and Sam Hess feels cliché and lacks depth. It doesn't add any meaningful information or characterization to the scene.
  • The sudden introduction of Lorne Malvo and his violent act feels disconnected from the rest of the story. There is no clear motivation or purpose for this scene.
  • The transition between scenes is abrupt and confusing. It's not clear how the events in the strip club relate to the phone call in the previous scene.
  • The scene lacks tension and suspense, which is important for a scene involving a violent act.
Suggestions
  • Provide some context or establish a connection between the strip club scene and the previous phone call scene. This will help the audience understand the significance of the events.
  • Develop the dialogue between the hooker and Sam Hess to add depth and characterization. This will make the scene more engaging and meaningful.
  • Establish a clear motivation or purpose for Lorne Malvo's violent act. This will make the scene feel more integrated into the overall story.
  • Improve the transition between scenes to make it smoother and more logical. This will help the audience follow the narrative flow.
  • Increase the tension and suspense in the scene by building up to the violent act. This can be done through pacing, camera angles, and music.



Scene 17 - Late Night Coffee Chat
EXT. THURMAN HOUSE. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - NIGHT

Molly pulls up in her prowler. Vern comes out, climbs in.
Molly hands him a coffee.

VERN
Thanks.

Molly drives.

MOLLY
Ida sleeping?

VERN
Ya.
31.


MOLLY
Bill’s over the Lucky Penny. Says
it’s a real mess.

VERN
Bar fight?

MOLLY
Nope. Ya know those back rooms
they got for hanky panky? Well,
sounds like a customer was givin’
it to one of the girls. Got
himself stabbed in the head.

VERN
The girl stabbed him?

MOLLY
Bill says no. Says it was an
assassination type deal.

VERN
(thinks about that)
Huh.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Thriller"]

Summary Molly picks up Vern in her prowler outside the Thurman House in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. They discuss a messy incident at the Lucky Penny where a customer was stabbed in the head. Vern ponders the possibility of it being an assassination. The scene ends with Vern responding with a thoughtful 'Huh' to Molly's information.
Strengths
  • Intense and impactful assassination scene
  • Strong emotional impact
  • High stakes and conflict
Weaknesses
  • Limited dialogue

Ratings
Overall

Overall: 9

The scene is highly impactful and intense, with a shocking assassination that raises the stakes and adds a new layer of conflict to the story.


Story Content

Concept: 8

The concept of a sudden assassination in a strip club is unique and adds a thrilling element to the scene.

Plot: 9

The plot takes a dramatic turn with the assassination, creating a new conflict and raising the stakes for the characters.

Originality: 5

The level of originality in this scene is relatively low. The situation of a bar fight and a stabbing is a familiar one in crime dramas. However, the authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds some freshness to the scene.


Character Development

Characters: 8

The characters' reactions to the assassination and their involvement in the unfolding events add depth and intrigue to the scene.

Character Changes: 7

The assassination leads to a change in the dynamics and motivations of the characters involved.

Internal Goal: 0

The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is not explicitly stated or evident from the dialogue. It is unclear what deeper needs, fears, or desires the protagonist may have.

External Goal: 8

The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to inform Vern about a recent incident at the Lucky Penny bar. This goal reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges they are facing, as well as their role as a source of information in the community.


Scene Elements

Conflict Level: 10

The conflict level is high due to the shocking assassination and the potential consequences it may have for the characters involved.

Opposition: 6

The opposition in this scene is moderate. While there is no direct conflict between the characters, the incident at the Lucky Penny bar creates a sense of tension and potential danger.

High Stakes: 10

The stakes are high as the assassination has the potential to impact the lives of the characters involved.

Story Forward: 9

The scene moves the story forward by introducing a new conflict and raising the stakes for the characters.

Unpredictability: 6

This scene is somewhat unpredictable because the audience does not know the full details of the incident at the Lucky Penny bar or how it will impact the story.

Philosophical Conflict: 0

There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


Audience Engagement

Emotional Impact: 9

The scene elicits strong emotions through the sudden and brutal nature of the assassination.

Dialogue: 7

The dialogue is concise and serves to convey important information about the assassination and its implications.

Engagement: 7

This scene is engaging because it introduces a mysterious incident at the Lucky Penny bar, creating curiosity and intrigue for the audience.

Pacing: 7

The pacing of the scene is effective in maintaining the audience's interest and moving the story forward. The dialogue is concise and the scene progresses smoothly.


Technical Aspect

Formatting: 9

The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It includes scene headings, character names, and dialogue in the correct format.

Structure: 8

The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with an establishing shot and then moves into a conversation between the characters.


Critique
  • The scene lacks clear and concise description, making it difficult to visualize the actions and setting.
  • The dialogue feels flat and lacks depth, with characters simply exchanging information without much emotion or subtext.
  • There is a missed opportunity to explore the emotional impact of the murder at The Lucky Penny, as the characters' reactions are not shown or explored.
  • The transition between scenes is abrupt and could be smoother to improve the flow of the story.
  • The scene could benefit from more visual elements to enhance the storytelling and engage the audience.
Suggestions
  • Provide more specific and vivid descriptions of the actions and setting to help the reader visualize the scene.
  • Add depth and subtext to the dialogue by incorporating the characters' emotions, thoughts, and motivations.
  • Explore the emotional impact of the murder by showing the characters' reactions and allowing them to process the event.
  • Smoothly transition between scenes by using transitional elements such as fade-outs or establishing shots.
  • Include more visual elements to enhance the storytelling, such as gestures, facial expressions, or visual cues that reveal the characters' emotions.



Scene 18 - Mysterious Death at The Lucky Penny
INT. BACK ROOM. THE LUCKY PENNY - NIGHT

Sam Hess lays face down on the bed, the knife still sticking
out of the back of his head. Vern and Molly stand by the bed
looking down at him.

MOLLY
Whatcha want me to write for cause
of death?

VERN
Put self-explanatory.

Vern crouches, examines Hess’s profile.

VERN (CONT’D)
Well, heck. That’s Sam Hess.

MOLLY
Hess that owns the trucking
company?

VERN
Ya. With the two boys, both dumb
as a dog’s foot.

Molly looks around. A thought hits her.
32.


MOLLY
Hold on. Isn’t Hess tied to that
syndicate of fellas outta Fargo?
Gun runners and such.

VERN
So they say.

MOLLY
Geez. Ya think this was, like, an
organized crime thing? A hit or
the like?

VERN
(straightens)
Don’t know what I think yet.
Except that I was warm in bed a
half hour ago.

CUT TO:
Genres: ["Crime","Thriller"]

Summary In this scene at The Lucky Penny, Sam Hess is found dead with a knife in the back of his head. Vern and Molly discuss the cause of death and speculate about whether it was a hit by the syndicate from Fargo. The emotional tone is tense as the mystery surrounding Sam Hess's death unfolds. The scene ends with Vern expressing his uncertainty and frustration about the situation.
Strengths
  • Intense and shocking assassination scene
  • Effective establishment of potential organized crime connection
  • Engaging dialogue
Weaknesses

    Ratings
    Overall

    Overall: 9

    The scene is highly impactful and engaging, with a shocking and unexpected event that raises the stakes and introduces a new layer of intrigue.


    Story Content

    Concept: 8

    The concept of a hitman infiltrating a strip club and assassinating a target adds tension and excitement to the story.

    Plot: 9

    The plot takes a significant turn with the introduction of the assassination, creating a new mystery and raising the stakes for the characters.

    Originality: 6

    The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of investigating a murder and potential organized crime involvement is not entirely unique, the specific details and dialogue contribute to the authenticity of the scene. The characters' actions and dialogue feel realistic and grounded.


    Character Development

    Characters: 8

    The characters are well-defined and their reactions to the assassination add depth to their personalities.

    Character Changes: 7

    The characters' perception of the situation and their understanding of the criminal underworld may change as a result of the assassination.

    Internal Goal: 7

    The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is not explicitly stated. However, it can be inferred that Vern's internal goal is to figure out the truth behind Sam Hess's death and to protect himself from any potential danger.

    External Goal: 6

    The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to investigate Sam Hess's death and determine if it was a result of organized crime or a hit. This goal reflects the immediate circumstances and challenges Vern is facing, as he is now involved in a potentially dangerous situation.


    Scene Elements

    Conflict Level: 9

    The conflict is intense, with the sudden assassination creating a sense of danger and uncertainty.

    Opposition: 8

    The opposition in this scene is strong as the characters are faced with the challenge of investigating a murder and potential organized crime involvement. The audience is unsure of how the investigation will unfold and what dangers the characters may encounter.

    High Stakes: 10

    The stakes are high as the characters are confronted with a brutal assassination and the potential involvement of organized crime.

    Story Forward: 9

    The scene significantly advances the story by introducing a new plot point and raising the stakes for the characters.

    Unpredictability: 7

    This scene is unpredictable because it introduces the possibility of organized crime involvement in the murder, which adds a layer of mystery and uncertainty to the story.

    Philosophical Conflict: 0

    There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


    Audience Engagement

    Emotional Impact: 8

    The scene evokes shock and suspense, leaving the audience emotionally engaged.

    Dialogue: 7

    The dialogue is concise and serves the purpose of conveying information and establishing the characters' reactions.

    Engagement: 8

    This scene is engaging because it introduces a murder mystery and potential organized crime involvement. The dialogue between the characters is intriguing and reveals information that keeps the audience interested in the story.

    Pacing: 9

    The pacing of the scene is effective in building tension and maintaining the audience's interest. The dialogue and actions flow smoothly, keeping the scene engaging and propelling the story forward.


    Technical Aspect

    Formatting: 9

    The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses standard scene headings, action lines, and dialogue formatting.

    Structure: 8

    The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with a description of the setting, introduces the characters, and progresses through their dialogue and actions.


    Critique
    • The scene lacks visual description, making it difficult for the reader to fully visualize the setting and characters' actions.
    • The dialogue feels a bit on-the-nose and lacks subtext, resulting in a lack of depth and nuance in the characters' interactions.
    • The conversation between Vern and Molly feels a bit forced and unnatural, lacking a sense of authenticity.
    • There is a missed opportunity to explore the emotional impact of the murder on the characters, particularly Molly who is known for her empathetic nature.
    • The scene could benefit from more tension and suspense, especially considering the violent nature of the murder that just occurred.
    Suggestions
    • Add more visual description to help the reader visualize the back room of The Lucky Penny and the characters' actions.
    • Work on the dialogue to make it more nuanced and reflective of the characters' personalities and emotions.
    • Consider adding a moment of reflection or emotional reaction from Molly to highlight the impact of the murder on her.
    • Introduce more tension and suspense by building up the mystery surrounding the murder and the possibility of it being an organized crime hit.
    • Explore the relationship between Vern and Molly further to add depth and authenticity to their conversation.



    Scene 19 - Confrontation at the Farmdale Motel
    INT. FARMDALE MOTEL. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - NIGHT

    The owner, a heavyset WOMAN, is yelling at a sullen TEEN.
    Malvo enters.

    WOMAN
    How many times I gotta tell ya?
    You can’t just take dirty sheets
    offa one bed and put ‘em on
    another. It’s unsanitory.

    TEEN
    I shake ‘em out first.

    WOMAN
    You don’t have the sense God gave a
    clam, do you? Go shovel the walk.

    The sullen teen exits.

    MALVO
    I need a room.

    WOMAN
    Just you?

    MALVO
    Pardon?

    WOMAN
    Is it just for you? The room.
    33.


    MALVO
    What difference does that make?

    WOMAN
    Different rate for two. And if ya
    got pets -- dog, cat -- that’s an
    extra ten bucks.

    MALVO
    What about a fish?

    WOMAN
    Excuse me?

    MALVO
    Would a fish cost me ten dollars?

    WOMAN
    Well --

    MALVO
    Or say I kept spiders. Or mice.
    What if I had bacteria?

    WOMAN
    Sir, bacteria are not pets.

    MALVO
    Could be.

    WOMAN
    Sir, perhaps you’d be happier in a
    different motel.

    MALVO
    I just want to know the policy.
    I’m a student of institutions.

    WOMAN
    (exasperated)
    Sir, do ya have a pet or not?

    MALVO
    Nope. Just me.

    CUT TO:
    Genres: ["Crime","Thriller"]

    Summary In this tense scene at the Farmdale Motel in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, the owner confronts a sullen teen for putting dirty sheets on a bed. Malvo enters and asks about a room, leading to a minor conflict with the owner regarding the pet policy. The conflict with the teen is resolved when he exits the scene, but the pet policy issue remains unresolved. The scene ends with Malvo clarifying that he doesn't have a pet and just wants to know the policy.
    Strengths
    • Sharp and witty dialogue
    • Effective establishment of tone and atmosphere
    • Engaging character interaction
    Weaknesses

      Ratings
      Overall

      Overall: 8

      The scene is well-written and effectively establishes the tone and atmosphere of the story. The dialogue is sharp and engaging, and the dark humor adds an interesting layer to the scene. The introduction of the motel owner and her interaction with Malvo provides some comic relief while also revealing more about Malvo's character.


      Story Content

      Concept: 7

      The concept of a mysterious hitman checking into a motel and engaging in a deadpan conversation with the owner is intriguing and sets up the suspenseful and dark tone of the story.

      Plot: 7

      The plot in this scene revolves around Malvo checking into a motel and establishing his presence in the town. It sets up the subsequent events and introduces the character of the motel owner.

      Originality: 6

      The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of a character trying to secure a room at a motel is familiar, the writer adds a fresh approach by incorporating witty and absurd dialogue exchanges. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue adds to the originality.


      Character Development

      Characters: 8

      The characters in this scene, particularly Malvo and the motel owner, are well-developed and their interaction adds depth to the story. Malvo's deadpan and mysterious personality is intriguing, while the motel owner's exasperation and humor provide a contrast.

      Character Changes: 4

      There is minimal character change in this scene. It primarily serves to introduce the characters and establish their personalities.

      Internal Goal: 8

      The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to secure a room at the motel. This goal reflects their immediate need for shelter and accommodation.

      External Goal: 7

      The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to inquire about the motel's policy regarding pets. This goal reflects the immediate circumstance of the protagonist potentially having a pet with them.


      Scene Elements

      Conflict Level: 6

      There is a subtle conflict between Malvo and the motel owner, as well as an underlying tension due to Malvo's mysterious presence. However, the conflict is not the central focus of this scene.

      Opposition: 6

      The opposition in this scene is not particularly strong. The owner presents some resistance to the protagonist's inquiries, but it is not a significant obstacle that creates tension or uncertainty.

      High Stakes: 5

      The stakes in this scene are relatively low. It focuses more on establishing the tone and atmosphere of the story rather than raising the stakes.

      Story Forward: 7

      The scene moves the story forward by introducing the character of Malvo and establishing his presence in the town. It sets up the subsequent events and adds to the overall narrative.

      Unpredictability: 9

      This scene is unpredictable because of the unexpected twists and turns in the dialogue. The protagonist's unconventional questions and the owner's exasperated responses create an element of surprise.

      Philosophical Conflict: 0

      There is no evident philosophical conflict in this scene.


      Audience Engagement

      Emotional Impact: 5

      The emotional impact of this scene is relatively low. It focuses more on establishing the tone and atmosphere of the story rather than evoking strong emotions.

      Dialogue: 9

      The dialogue in this scene is sharp, witty, and filled with dark humor. It effectively conveys the personalities of the characters and adds depth to the scene.

      Engagement: 7

      This scene is engaging because of the witty and unexpected dialogue exchanges between the characters. It keeps the audience entertained and curious about the outcome of the interaction.

      Pacing: 8

      The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by maintaining a steady rhythm in the dialogue exchanges. It allows the humor and absurdity to land effectively.


      Technical Aspect

      Formatting: 9

      The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It uses proper scene headings, character names, and dialogue formatting.

      Structure: 8

      The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre. It begins with a location and time description, introduces the characters, and progresses through their dialogue exchanges.


      Critique
      • The scene starts with an interaction between the owner and the sullen teen, which seems unrelated to the main story and characters. It feels like a filler scene that doesn't contribute much to the overall plot.
      • The dialogue between the owner and Malvo is somewhat repetitive and lacks depth. It mainly revolves around the topic of pets and the cost associated with them, which doesn't add much to the tension or mystery established in the previous scenes.
      • The dialogue between the owner and Malvo feels forced and unnatural. The owner's responses to Malvo's questions seem overly exasperated and don't flow smoothly.
      • The scene lacks a clear conflict or purpose. It doesn't advance the plot or reveal any new information about the characters or their motivations.
      • The scene could benefit from more visual elements or actions to make it more engaging and visually interesting.
      Suggestions
      • Consider removing or rewriting the interaction between the owner and the sullen teen to make it more relevant to the main story.
      • Revise the dialogue between the owner and Malvo to make it more dynamic and meaningful. Focus on building tension and adding depth to the characters.
      • Introduce a clear conflict or purpose for the scene that advances the plot or reveals new information.
      • Add more visual elements or actions to make the scene visually engaging and enhance the overall storytelling.



      Scene 20 - Retaliation at the Farmdale Motel
      EXT. FARMDALE MOTEL. SAINT CLOUD, MINNESOTA - NIGHT

      Malvo approaches his room. The teen is shoveling snow
      nearby.
      34.


      MALVO
      Why do you let her talk to you like
      that?

      TEEN
      Aw, she’s not that bad.

      MALVO
      Son, she compared you to a clam.

      The teen thinks about it. The woman is kind of a bitch.

      TEEN
      Well, what should I do?

      MALVO
      Guy insulted me once. I pissed in
      his gas tank. Car never drove
      straight again.

      The teen smiles, puts down the shovel. He walks over to the
      woman’s car. Malvo lets himself into his room.
      Genres: ["Crime","Drama","Thriller"]

      Summary Malvo questions the teen's tolerance for a woman's disrespect at the Farmdale Motel in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. After the teen defends the woman, he realizes she compared him to a clam. Inspired by Malvo's story of retaliation, the teen decides to take action by walking over to the woman's car. Meanwhile, Malvo enters his room, leaving the scene with a mix of curiosity, amusement, and empowerment.
      Strengths
      • Effective tone and atmosphere
      • Intriguing introduction of a new character
      • Engaging dialogue
      Weaknesses
      • Limited plot development
      • Minimal character change

      Ratings
      Overall

      Overall: 9

      The scene effectively establishes the tone and introduces a new character, creating intrigue and anticipation for the audience.


      Story Content

      Concept: 8

      The concept of a mysterious and manipulative character entering a motel and engaging in a conversation with a sullen teen is intriguing and sets up potential conflicts.

      Plot: 7

      The plot in this scene is minimal, serving mainly to introduce Malvo and establish his character.

      Originality: 6

      The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of giving advice to a teen and sharing a personal story is familiar, the specific actions and dialogue of the characters feel authentic and unique.


      Character Development

      Characters: 9

      The characters in this scene are well-defined and intriguing, particularly Malvo with his manipulative nature and the sullen teen with his vulnerability.

      Character Changes: 5

      There is minimal character change in this scene, as it mainly serves to introduce Malvo and establish his manipulative nature.

      Internal Goal: 8

      The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is to give advice to the teen and teach him a lesson about standing up for himself. It reflects the protagonist's desire to assert power and control over others.

      External Goal: 7

      The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to share a personal story with the teen to inspire him to take action against the woman who insulted him. It reflects the immediate challenge of the teen being mistreated and the need for him to assert himself.


      Scene Elements

      Conflict Level: 6

      There is a mild conflict between the teen and the motel owner, but the main conflict is implied through the introduction of Malvo and his potential impact on the story.

      Opposition: 7

      The opposition in this scene is strong as the woman's insults and the protagonist's advice present a challenge for the teen to overcome.

      High Stakes: 6

      The stakes are moderately high, as the scene hints at potential conflicts and the impact Malvo may have on the story.

      Story Forward: 7

      The scene moves the story forward by introducing a new character and setting up potential conflicts.

      Unpredictability: 7

      This scene is unpredictable because the audience doesn't know how the teen will respond to the protagonist's advice and whether he will take action against the woman.

      Philosophical Conflict: 6

      There is a philosophical conflict evident in this scene between the protagonist's belief in taking revenge and the teen's more passive approach to dealing with insults. This challenges the protagonist's belief in the effectiveness of revenge and relates to his worldview of asserting power.


      Audience Engagement

      Emotional Impact: 7

      The scene evokes a sense of suspense and anticipation, creating an emotional impact on the audience.

      Dialogue: 8

      The dialogue is sharp and engaging, showcasing the manipulative nature of Malvo and the vulnerability of the teen.

      Engagement: 9

      This scene is engaging because it presents a conflict and a mystery through the dialogue and actions of the characters, making the audience curious about the outcome.

      Pacing: 8

      The pacing of the scene contributes to its effectiveness by maintaining a steady rhythm and building tension through the concise and direct dialogue.


      Technical Aspect

      Formatting: 9

      The formatting of this scene follows the expected format for its genre, with proper indentation, spacing, and punctuation.

      Structure: 8

      The structure of this scene follows the expected format for its genre, with clear scene headings, character names, and dialogue formatting.


      Critique
      • The scene lacks clear context and purpose. It seems disconnected from the overall story and doesn't contribute much to the plot or character development.
      • The dialogue feels forced and unnatural. The conversation between Malvo and the teen lacks depth and doesn't reveal much about their characters.
      • The conflict between the teen and the woman is not fully explored or resolved. It feels like a missed opportunity to add tension and depth to the scene.
      • The visual elements are minimal and don't add much to the scene. There is a lack of visual storytelling or interesting camera angles.
      • The scene lacks a clear emotional tone. It doesn't evoke any strong emotions or create a sense of tension or suspense.
      • The scene feels disconnected from the previous and following scenes. It doesn't flow smoothly and feels like a random encounter.
      • The dialogue lacks subtext and depth. It feels too on-the-nose and doesn't leave much room for interpretation or nuance.
      Suggestions
      • Consider reevaluating the purpose of this scene and how it contributes to the overall story. It should have a clear reason for being included.
      • Develop the dialogue to reveal more about the characters and their motivations. Add subtext and depth to their conversations.
      • Explore the conflict between the teen and the woman further. Use it as an opportunity to add tension and create a more engaging scene.
      • Enhance the visual elements of the scene. Use camera angles, lighting, and composition to create a more visually interesting and engaging scene.
      • Establish a clear emotional tone for the scene. Decide what emotions you want to evoke in the audience and craft the scene accordingly.
      • Ensure that the scene flows smoothly from the previous and following scenes. Connect it more closely to the overall narrative.
      • Revise the dialogue to include more subtext and depth. Leave room for interpretation and allow the audience to read between the lines.



      Scene 21 - Gas Tank Incident
      INT. MOTEL ROOM. SAINT CLOUD, MN - CONTINUOUS

      Malvo goes to the phone, dials the front desk. He looks out
      through the curtain. We can see the Teen with his pants
      undone, pissing into the gas tank.

      WOMAN
      Farmdale motel.

      MALVO
      Yeah, I’m looking out my window and
      there’s a young fella urinating
      into the gas tank of a red Miata.

      WOMAN
      Son of a --

      Malvo hangs up, watches as the woman comes out of the office
      with a shotgun. She YELLS at the teen, who panics and
      stumbles away, his pants falling down.

      Malvo closes the curtain.

      CUT TO:
      Genres: ["Crime","Thriller"]

      Summary Malvo witnesses a teen urinating into the gas tank of a red Miata from his motel room. He calls the front desk to report it, and the woman at the front desk comes out with a shotgun, yelling at the teen. The teen panics and runs away with his pants falling down. Malvo closes the curtain, ending the scene.
      Strengths
      • Engaging dialogue
      • Unexpected twist
      • Dark humor
      Weaknesses
      • Limited exploration of themes
      • Minimal character development

      Ratings
      Overall

      Overall: 9

      The scene effectively combines elements of crime, suspense, and humor, creating an engaging and memorable sequence.


      Story Content

      Concept: 8

      The concept of a character seeking revenge by urinating in someone's gas tank is unique and unexpected, adding a surprising twist to the scene.

      Plot: 9

      The plot of the scene revolves around Malvo's interaction with the motel owner and his subsequent act of revenge, which is both entertaining and drives the story forward.

      Originality: 6

      The level of originality in this scene is moderate. While the situation of a character reporting another character's actions is not entirely unique, the specific details and actions in this scene add a fresh approach to the familiar situation. The authenticity of the characters' actions and dialogue contributes to the originality.


      Character Development

      Characters: 9

      The characters of Malvo and the motel owner are well-developed and their interaction is engaging. Malvo's dark and manipulative personality contrasts with the motel owner's frustration and anger, creating an interesting dynamic.

      Character Changes: 6

      While the scene does not involve significant character development or change, it does reveal aspects of Malvo's manipulative and vengeful nature.

      Internal Goal: 8

      The protagonist's internal goal in this scene is not explicitly stated, but it can be inferred that he wants to cause trouble or chaos by reporting the teen's actions to the woman at the front desk. This reflects his deeper desire for power and control, as well as his enjoyment of manipulating others.

      External Goal: 9

      The protagonist's external goal in this scene is to provoke a reaction from the woman at the front