Set against the windswept tundra of Minnesota, a car salesman plans to wipe out his personal debts by hiring a pair of colorful crooks to kidnap his wife and have her wealthy father pay the ransom. The haphazard scheme turns sour during a routine pull-over that leaves three dead bodies in its wake.
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I'd hard-pressed to name a film from the Coen Brothers' catalog more tightly and carefully crafted than "Fargo." While it's easy to latch onto the moments that poke fun at Midwestern stereotypes and have a bit of a laugh at the expense of Minnesota residents, at its heart I still see this as a story about how oftentimes the most modest and "simple" people are the only force for good in a world of limitless evil.
Essential cinema. The Coen Brothers usual mix of dark comedy, bloodshed and the macabre reached an early crescendo with this enthralling pleasure. Oscar winning scripting and near perfect casting along with their standard visual mastery have made this a modern classic. McDormand in her Oscar winning turn is magic as is the rest of the cast with their regional characterizations.
Frances McDormand's on-screen warmth is irresistible, especially when it's juxtaposed with the film's frozen footprints and cold-hearted kidnappers. With Steve Buscemi's slimy character and the shady William H. Macy, we're talking about three of my all-time favorite actors. Beyond the violence and MN/SD cliches, there's a lot of dark humor and familiar Americana for anyone who's spent time in the area.
In my opinion, the first masterpiece of the Coen brothers. The opening sequence is like the MILLER CROSSING one, a little jewel. This hymn to the natural good sense should have a reserved place in your library. Yeah ? Yeah ! As Parmenides of Elea used to say : To think is like staying in the snow without fearing the mild spell".