Minneapolis car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) needs a lot of money, badly. His father-in-law is loaded, but they don’t get on too well ya' see. So he hires two crooks from Fargo (lumbering Peter Stormare and a typically jittery Steve Buscemi) and pays them to kidnap his wife and hold her for ransom – which Jerry plans to keep most of for himself. When things go wrong, the criminals from Fargo get violent. The investigation is carried out by a pregnant, sweet-as-pie policewoman named Marge (France McDormand in one of her most memorable roles). Everyone talks in funny Minnesota accents ('you betcha!'), and the action plays out across the beautiful snowed-over plains of a northern midwest winter.
Why You Should See This Film
This expertly paced suspense film is also a brilliant black comedy, making Fargo a sensational film to see at the cinema for those moments when others are laughing whilst you’re horrified, and vice versa. The claim that the Coen brothers are cynics or intellectuals who look down on their characters is wholly rebuked by McDormand’s heartwarming portrayal (probably captured with extra affection since her husband Joel Coen was behind the camera). It would go on to earn the actress her very first Oscar win — richly deserved.
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- Year: 1996
- Rating: MA15+
- Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
- Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi
- Duration: 98 minutes
- Language: English