No One Wears The '70s Better Than Fargo's Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst wears the '70s well. The most recent evidence: Her turn in the wonderful new season of Fargo.

This season of the FX anthology series takes place in 1979, and Dunst plays Peggy Blumquist, a local hairdresser in Luverne, Minnesota. Without giving away too much, Peggy is something like a Jerry Lundegaard of the season. She’s a misguided woman who gets mixed up in a world of Midwestern crime, and ends up doing less than respectable things. But guess what’s totally acceptable? Dunst’s fabulous '70s wardrobe. Peggy’s got a thing for berets, fur-collared coats, and tie-neck blouses. And her hair is just on the edge of Farrah Fawcett.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Dunst thrive in the decade of disco. She's been in three other movies set in the '70s. They've been sorrowful (The Virgin Suicides), silly (Dick), and creepy (All Good Things). She's played characters who are idealists, and faced with devastating realities that are symbols for a time when our country grappled with Watergate, and the end of Vietnam.

Fargo
takes place when the era is coming to a close. "It was one of the real low points in American history — post-Watergate, post-Vietnam," creator Noah Hawley told the Los Angeles Times. "Huge economic recession. Gas lines. Crime on the rise. At a moment, when the American narrative had become so complicated and everyone was so paranoid because it turned out conspiracy did go to the highest level and you couldn’t trust anything."

Dunst has played the goofiness of the '70s and the angst. Scroll through to see her other '70s wins.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Classics.
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Dunst’s first foray into the '70s was Sofia Coppola’s film, based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. Dunst plays Lux Lisbon, one of five sisters who commit suicide in suburban Michigan. Sheltered by strict parents, all of the Lisbon girls seem to fascinate the young men in their orbit. Only Lux strikes out on her own streak of teenage rebellion. Though the costumes are understated, they have inspired devotees. For the homecoming dance, their disciplinarian mother makes their dresses frumpy on purpose. "Four identical sacks," the film's narrator describes. Dunst is seen in one of those sacks — which actually looks quite beautiful — in the accompanying picture.
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Most '70s Moment: At the dance, we see Lux in one of her happiest moments. She is crowned homecoming queen alongside her date, Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett), a "Magic Man" if ever there was one, to the sounds of Styx's "Come Sail Away."
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Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Dick (1999)
Dunst actually made another '70s movie the same year as The Virgin Suicides. While Coppola’s take on the decade was subtle, Dick was a broad comedy riff on the Watergate scandal. Dunst plays one of two dopey teen girls (the other one is played by Michelle Williams, still then of Dawson’s Creek), who stumble upon the Watergate break-in, and end up becoming Woodward and Bernstein’s Deep Throat. It’s a silly concept, as are their '70s outfits. The Dick costumes are basically what you would wear if you were going as as a “'70s gal” for Halloween: all headbands and bell-bottoms. But, the clothing was actually authentic vintage. Director Andrew Fleming told the Huffington Post that the costume designer sought out unworn clothing from the era. "Those girls were in polyester," he said.
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Most '70s Moment: Look, we're not saying it's realistic, but watching the girls rollerblading in the Nixon White House to ABBA in bell-bottoms is a summation of every awesome '70s fantasy cliché.
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Photo: Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.
All Good Things (2010)
Dunst plays Katie, the doomed wife of Ryan Gosling's David Marks, in this undercooked film, inspired by the story of Robert Durst. Katie and real estate scion David have a romantic courtship, but things get dark quickly for the young woman who sings "Oklahoma" in a sleeveless prairie dress at the film's outset. All Good Things fizzled with audiences and critics, but director Andrew Jarecki revisited the story in The Jinx, HBO's jaw-dropping series about Durst's alleged crimes, including several murders.
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Most '70s Moment: Nothing like a boozy night out at a club listening to disco, while finding out one of your husband's deepest secrets.
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Photo: Courtesy of FX.
Fargo (2015)
This brings us to the second season of the FX series, which takes place at the very end of the Me Decade. Peggy is married to a local butcher named Ed (Jesse Plemons), who has plans to buy the meat shop once its current owner retires. Meanwhile, Peggy wants to take a Lifespring seminar to find herself. Her adventurous spirit comes through in her wardrobe. She’s not quite as outrageous as her flirty, hippie boss at the salon, played by Elizabeth Marvel, but perhaps she would be if she could just get out of Luverne and go to that gosh darn seminar.
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Most '70s Moment: We hesitate to give too much away, but so far, the most '70s part of Peggy's character is her desire to attend Lifespring, a New Age self improvement program that eventually found itself the target of criticism and lawsuits.
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