Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, one of the best films of this year's Florida Film Festival, is playing the Enzian Theater in Maitland this week.
As an unmarried, misunderstood 29-year-old office worker in Tokyo, Kumiko (the extraordinary Rinko Kikuchi) leads a depressing, lonely life, eschewing everything and everyone except her pet rabbit, Bunzo. Her only joy is her delusional obsession with the movie Fargo, which she perceives as real. She therefore assumes that the money Steve Buscemi's character buries in the snow is ripe for her plucking, if only she can traverse the 5,000 miles that separate her from the treasure.
"I am like a Spanish conquistador," she says. "Recently I've learned of untold riches hidden deep in the Americas. Long ago, Spanish conquistadors learned of such things from American Indians. Now I have learned from an American motion picture."
This little gem of a film could have been a ridiculous comedy substituting spoof for heart, but in the mature hands of David and Nathan Zellner – and executive producer Alexander Payne – it becomes a haunting homage to the Coen brothers and to every troubled soul who has been cinematically inspired to dream an impossible dream.