In Fargo, filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen both embrace and satirize their North Dakota roots. A patrolman and two innocent bystanders are discovered murdered in cold blood on a snowy North Dakota highway, leading very pregnant policewoman Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) on an investigation that uncovers a conspiracy of greed and ineptitude. Minneapolis husband, farther and car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), who has long chafed under the thumb of his wealthy boss and father-in-law, concocts an elaborate scheme involving the kidnapping of his wife and a million-dollar ransom to pay off his extensive gambling debts. However, everything that could possibly go wrong indeed DOES go wrong. Officer Gunderson's outwardly homespun and folksy persona conceals a penetrating mind and a fierce moral compass, and she easily sees through the poorly executed and badly hidden events perpetrated by the bumbling, yet highly dangerous kidnappers (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare). Her hilarious and arresting performance netted her an Oscar, and the Coens were also rewarded with a Best Original Screenplay award.
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Ratings and Reviews
Critics Consensus: Violent, quirky, and darkly funny, Fargo delivers an original crime story and a wonderful performance by McDormand.
Dark, gritty, and brilliant comedy is extremely violent.