Ebert on the Vice Presidential Debate

With Fargo references:

I sensed that Sarah Palin was nervous. Well, she had every right to be, and as I thought about the debate during the day on Thursday, I felt some empathy for her: In university terms, she was being asked to defend her doctoral thesis without having written it. If that had been me facing Joe Biden with the same preparation, I don’t know if I could even have walked onto the stage.

So she was understandably nervous, and you could tell that by her rapid speech, faster than what we’ve heard from her before . Listening to her voice, you could also sense when she felt she’d survived the deep waters of improvisation and was climbing onto the shore of talking points. When she was on familiar ground, she perked up, winked at the audience two or three times, and settled with relief into the folksiness that reminds me strangely of the characters in “Fargo.”

Palin is best in that persona. You want to smile with her and wink back. But who did she resemble more? Marge Gunderson, whose peppy pleasantries masked a remorseless policewoman’s logic? Or Jerry Lundegaard, who knew he didn’t have the car on his lot, but smiled when he said, “M’am, I been cooperatin’ with ya here.” Palin was persuasive. But I felt a brightness that was not always convincing.

(via delicious.com/joeschmitt)