Published Jan 01, 2006This is the Coen brothers’ greatest achievement, and given their body of work, that’s a bold statement. Fargo is a masterpiece that lures you into a winter wasteland of Minnesota.
William H. Macy puts in an incredible performance as the slimy Jerry Lundegaard, a car salesman who’s got himself into money trouble and hires a pair of thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to "kidnap" his wife in order to extort money from his father-in-law. Things go horribly wrong and everyone completely falls apart except for very pregnant police officer Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand). The performances are some of the best you’ll see from this outstanding cast, and the way the Coens manage to turn bland, flat Minnesota into a cinematographers dream is remarkable.
Most of the Coen brothers’ DVDs have been stripped of any bonus features, so having their biggest success re-released as a special edition is quite a thrill. Included on this release is a conversation with the brothers and Frances McDormand on The Charlie Rose Show, as well as a documentary called "Minnesota Nice," in which the actors mainly talk about what it was like filming there. Swedish-born Stormare tells a touching tale of the connection between the Midwest, Sweden and his desire to visit isolated villages because they’re named after cities in his homeland. Audio commentary by long-time director of photography Roger A. Deakins is exciting, especially since cinematography is essential to the film’s beauty. Plus: behind-the-scenes photo gallery. (MGM)