Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Screenwriters: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Harve Presnell, Peter Stormare
The Coen brothers have always worked aspects from multiple genres into their films, with Fargo being a prime example. Some may see it as a simply a crime drama, but that would ignore the supremely deadpan humor that twists the movie into something far more unsettling.
A pregnant police chief (Francis McDormand) is investigating a series of murders around the town of Fargo, North Dakota, while also following the exploits of a man (William H. Macy) who's hired two criminals to kidnap his wife. Peter Stormare and Steve Buscemi play the hired help. They couldn't be any lousier at their jobs.
The tragic pair brings humor out of the mundane macabre, like in the scene where they bicker like a married couple over how to split their newly-stolen car. Buscemi nurses a gunshot wound the entire time. Should you feel guilty about laughing? The Coens remain stone-faced, daring you to react. —JS