Fargo is a 1996 comedish-crime-drama created by Ethan and Joel Coen. (Yes, they are brothers). It is set in the pure-white-in-more-ways-than-one Upper Midwest (the opening and closing scenes are set in North Dakota and the rest in Minnesota, USA) and tells the tale of a stupid-beyond-belief car salesman (William H. Macy), who hires to men (Steve Buscemi's weird looking self, and Peter Stromare) to kindnap his wife (a strangely sexy Kristen Rudrud) for a ransom of $1,000,000 that sets off a chain of murders, which, due the the lack of ethnic minorites, is rare in the region. Frances McDormand plays a pregnant police officer (?) investigating the crime.
Fargo won two Academy Awards in 1996 - for Best Original Screenplay and another for Best Actress to Frances. It was nomminated for several others, including one for Best Picture, but was somehow deemed less superior to the truly awful film The English Patient. Not that anyone cared, but the film also won the British BAFTA Award and several other international film awards, including the Award for Best Director (Joel Coen) at the Cannes Film Festival of 1996.
The film - justly - was ranked on the American Film Institute's "100 Years...100 Movies" list, where it placed #84, behind gems like Rocky, Tootsie, and E.T,.
Set 20 years prior to 2007, Fargo tells the "true" story of Jerry Lundegaard (Macy), an car salesman from Minneapolis, Minnesota with severe financial troubles. The film begins with him driving to Fargo to meet two men, whom he got in touch with through a work assosciate. His plan is to quell his financial difficulites by hiring these two guys, Carl (Buscemi), and Grimsrud (Stomare)to kidnap his wife so then can demand a ransom from her rich father, which Jerry can take a piece of and use to pay off his debts.
The plans falls apart (of course).
The film doesn't really explain Jerry's financial troubles. He keeps getting phone calls demanding that he provide VIN numbers for cars he used to secure GMAC loans. Jerry almost has a chance to call off the kidnapping when his father-in-law misunderstands a little project Jerry approached him about. But when he discovers the project isn't what he thought it was, Jerry is back in the same predicament.
Carl and Grimsrud eventually kidnap Jerry's wife, but it takes a bad turn when they are pulled over by a state trooper. The trooper is ready to haul them in after an unsuccessful bribe attempt by Carl, forcing Grimsrud to grab the officer, reach into the glove compartment, and put a bullet in the trooper's dome. He also murders two witnesses, who conveinently drive off the side of the road, waiting to get shot.
The next morning a very pregnant Marge (Frances) is investigating the crime and flawlessly puts the chain of events together, all while being pregnant, cold, and in the company of a dim-witted partner. She displays are clear combination of Minnesota nice, or "white people nice", and a clear aptitude for police work, quietly piecing together clues and moving towards the two thugs.
After inadvertently directing Marge to Shep, Carl gets his ass kicked by the huge Native American. He Angrily calls Jerry and demands ALL of the ransom dough, forcing Jerry to tell his father-in-law the the price is now $1,000,000. Wade is sick and tired of Jerry and decides to deliver the money himself, which leads to him being shot by Carl, but not before shooting Carl in the face, forcing Jerry to stuff Wade's body in the trunk. Marge eventually figures something isn't right about Jerry, who figure sout that she figured out something is amiss, and hauls ass. Now Carl has the money, but is killed by Grimsrud via ax and woodchipper. Grimsrud is caught by Marge, and despite his toughness throughout the film, (he murdered five people) runs from a impossibly pregnant female police officer. She someone catches him, manages to drag him in her car all by herself, and gives him one of those "white people" lectures.
Jerry is caught, and Marge and her stone-faced husband are once again peaceful - for two more months, then, y'know, the baby.
Gives Roger Ebert an orgasm every time he watched it
Gave Gene Siskel an orgasm every time he watched it before he died.
Was based on a true story