To lift himself out of debt and remove the oppressive thumb of his domineering father-in-law, car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) travels from Minneapolis to the titular North Dakota locale to meet with two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) who will help him hatch a foolproof kidnapping scheme. When blood is unexpectedly and senselessly shed, a tenacious and very pregnant small town detective (Frances McDormand) picks up its trail and follows its tragic lengths. Fargo is among the richest movies I know, with the Coen brothers keeping the keenest eye for detail while presenting a top notch thriller, an uproarious comedy, and even something weightier all wrapped up in the same icy package. The film is expertly cast with McDormand and Macy turning in career performamces, Buscemi and Stormare unforgettable as inept and mindless baddies, and every other single character chosen with the utmost care.
**** out of ****