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Nominated for seven Oscars and winner of two, this darkly amusing thriller combines a first-rate cast, "a dazzling mix of mirth and malice" (Rolling Stone) and a bizarre kidnapping plot that unravels the Midwest like never before. Starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi, Fargo is a brilliant tour de force from the creators of Raising Arizonaand O Brother, Where Art Thou? *1996: Best Picture, Director, Actress (McDormand, won), Supporting Actor (Macy), Original Screenplay (won), Cinematography, Editing

Leave it to the wildly inventive Coen brothers (Joel directs, Ethan produces, they both write) to concoct a fiendishly clever kidnap caper 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, andFargoembraces its local yokels with affectionate humor. At times shocking and hilarious,Fargois utterly unique and distinctly American, bearing the unmistakable stamp of its inspired creators. -- Jeff Shannon
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CastSteve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Kristin Rudrud
DirectorEthan Coen, Joel Coen
Genre:  Drama
MPAA Rating:  R
Screen WriterEthan Coen, Joel Coen
DVD Release Date:  August 15, 2000
Runtime:  98 minutes
Studio:  MGM (Video & DVD)
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More Fargo (movie) reviews
review by . July 04, 2011
MGM has released two DVD editions of Fargo; both are good, and this is the better of the two.      Its main menu's background consists of footage of McDormand, examining the bodies of the movie's first murders. Menu interface is sparse; white space and memorable film stills serve as the backgrounds. An alternate French dubbed track is fair, and while the English, French and Spanish subtitles are adequate, none of them convey the vernacular of the so-called "Minnesota …
review by . January 10, 2011
**** out of ****      With "Fargo", I think that the Coen Brothers have finally perfected their technique. This is not their first masterpiece, although it's the perfect antidote to the disappointment that was "The Hudsucker Proxy"; AKA, the Coen Brothers film before this one. The problem with "Hudsucker" was that it delivered exactly what I wanted it to, but in the worst of ways. I wanted that film to be silly; I wanted it to be satire. And …
review by . February 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
We are thirty minutes into Fargo before we finally meet Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), the petite but heavily pregnant police chief in small town Brainerd, Minnesota, who will become the hero we all needed. Relentlessly pleasant and attentive to other's needs, she is also observant, book smart, and people smart, knowing just the right attitude and approach to each character in the movie. She neither asks for nor needs any special consideration for her gender or her condition (although she …
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Another Coen Bros gem. Frances McDormand is nothing short of brilliant. Ditto for Steve Buscemi.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie puts a bunch of stereotypes to bed without being preachy.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
My favorite movie about dumb criminals in the midwest and the worst idea in the history of crime. A Classic
review by . June 11, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Marge Gunderson inspects some malfeasance
I was burned in the past by overhyped movies.      In 1994 Pulp Fiction came out and every show I watched had snippets of the movie and commercials for it were everywhere.  I saw it and honestly it wasn't what I thought it would be and came away cold.      Come 1996 and three movies were getting some big buzz again.  Fargo, Sling Blade and The English Patient.  Howard Stern on his radio show mentioned the former two of the three as being great …
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2009
Naive car salesman puts a kidnapping plan together and it quickly goes to hell. Engaging, entertaining and altogether quaint.
review by . January 18, 2009
Fargo - Special Edition DVD
Jerry Lundergaard (William H. Macy) is obsessed with getting his grubby paws on his father-in-law's money. He's in "trouble" (what kind isn't explained, but my imagination tells me it's some kind of sleazy business or real estate deal. It's made clear later that Jerry faked VIN numbers on a GMAC loan to receive $320,000 - but GMAC is threatening to call back the money). He's so crazy to get money out of his father-in-law, Wade, that he hires two petty criminals to kidnap his own wife and split the …
review by . March 19, 2008
A story about a bungled kidnapping that leads to multiple violent deaths and leaves a teenaged boy orphaned seems like an unlikely recipient of adjectives like 'funny', 'wry', 'humane' and 'oddly beautiful'. But that's the impression that this beautifully scenic movie leaves.  So perhaps the best review is to say that Fargo is an upsetter of categories-a film that uses the awful aspects of American life to point out the beautiful ones.   In spite of the resolutely depraved nature …
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