Leave it to the wildly inventive Coen brothers to concoct a fiendishly clever kidnap caper with Fargo
that's simultaneously a comedy of errors, a Midwestern satire, a taut suspense thriller and a violent tale of criminal misfortune. It all begins when a hapless car salesman (played to perfection by William H. Macy) ineptly orchestrates the kidnapping of his own wife. The plan goes horribly awry in the hands of bumbling bad guys Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare (one of them being described by a local girl as "kinda funny lookin'" and "not circumcised"), and the pregnant sheriff of Brainerd, Minnesota, (played exquisitely by Frances McDormand in an Oscar-winning role) is suddenly faced with a case of multiple murders. Her investigation is laced with offbeat observations about life in the rural hinterland of Minnesota and North Dakota, and Fargo
embraces its local yokels with affectionate humour. At times shocking and hilarious, this is utterly unique and distinctly American, bearing the unmistakable stamp of its inspired creators. --Jeff Shannon
On the DVD:Fargo, Special Edition presents the movie in anamorphic widescreen (16:9) with Dolby 5.1 available in a choice of English, French or Spanish. Extras include a rare 20-minute interview with the Coens and Frances McDormand, dating from the time of the movie's release, and the 27-minute retrospective documentary, "Minnesota Nice", which has more interviews with the principal cast and crew. There's a "Coen Brothers' Family Tree" listing actors who have collaborated with the duo, and an on-screen trivia track which, among other nuggets, provides a history of pancakes after Peter Stormare's character famously demands "Where is pancakes house?". Cinematographer Roger Deakins provides an intermittent commentary mostly concerned with technical issues. The text of an American Cinematographer article about Deakins and the Coens, trailers and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery complete the package. --Mark Walker
Offbeat, grisly black comedy from the Coen brothers. Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), deeply in debt, arranges for the kidnapping of his wife in order to obtain a sizeable ransom from her father, to pay off both his henchmen and his debts. However, all does not go according to plan. Frances McDormand won the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of the heavily pregnant Police Officer assigned to the case, while the film also won Best Original Screenplay.