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'Fargo' is a masterpiece

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Right now, treacherous weather is having a negative impact on many middle and eastern regions of the country. The bitter weather of Fargo, North Dakota was commemorated by Joel and Ethan Coen in their acclaimed 1996 film "Fargo." While their latest film, "Inside Llewyn Davis," is getting a lot of positive attention, "Fargo" is also worth a look.

"Fargo" stars William H. Macy as Jerry Lundegaard, a very crooked car salesman who is having severe financial problems. He hires Carl (played by Steve Buscemi) and Gaear (played by Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife so he can make money with the ransom that he assumes his wealthy father-in-law will pay. Shortly after the kidnapping, the kidnappers get pulled over and Gaear ends up killing a few people. Marge Gunderson (played by Frances McDormand), a very competent cop who happens to be seven months pregnant, conducts a thorough investigation of the crimes.

The screenplay for "Fargo" is excellent. It is both very funny and very dark and violent. It is hard for a film to effectively balance these elements, but the Coen Brothers do it masterfully.

The performances are all amazing. Frances McDormand won an Oscar for her work as Marge. She gives a great performance. Her character is very funny and very smart. William H. Macy is equally strong as the car salesman who finds himself in over his head. Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare are both excellent as the bungling kidnappers. Buscemi's character talks a lot and is less psychotic than Stormare's character, who rarely talks. They make a great team.

"Fargo" is one of the Coen Brothers' best films.


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