Fargo: Special Edition (UK)
A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere
Running Time: 94 mins
Retail Price: £19.99
Content Type: Movie
William H. Macy plays Jerry Lundegaard, a Minneapolis car salesman who is, by all accounts, a loser. He is desperately in debt, so decides to hires two thugs (who are as bigger losers as he is) to kidnap his wife in the hope that his wealthy father-in-law (who bullies him regularly) will pay the ransom. When one of the kidnappers goes of the rails and events career out of control, it falls to Marge Gunderson, Chief of the Brainerd Police Department, to set things right.
Arguably the best of the Coen brothers films (they won and Oscar for the script), featuring two of their best usual suspects, Steve Buscemi (Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski) and Frances McDormand (Blood Simple, Crimewave, Raising Arizona) -who won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in this role.
The film raked in a range of other prestigious and International Awards, 36 in total - including best direction at Cannes and David Lean Award for Direction at the 1997 BAFTA awards.
New Documentary: `Minnesota Nice` - an insight into the peculiarities of the region
Interview with the Coen brothers
Audio Commentary 1 with Producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner
Audio Commentary 2 with Director of Photography Roger Deakins
The Coen brothers repertory company - interactive guide focusing on regular collaborators Turturro, Goodman, and McDormand
Photo Galleries with rare pictures from the set
American Cinematographer article with detailed behind the scenes insights
Trailers & TV Spots
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish
William H. Macy
John S. Lyons
Director of Photography:
MGM / UA
Your Opinions and Comments
Pictue- The picture is good enough for me. Present in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the colours are vibrant and well defined and the colour palettes has changed from the previous dvd release. Just a few bits of flecks here and then but you have to focus on the picture and not the movie itself. There is little if not, no edge enhancement unlike the previous DVD release which is ridden full of edge enhancement. A relatively faultless transfer.
Sound- Presented in DD 5.1. There isn`t much use of the rear speakers except the musical score but it`s very subtle. This is a dialogue heavy film much like Pulp Fiction and you get a few occurences of gun shots. There`s also an option to listen to the entire film in French or Spanish just to hear the characters say "oui" or "si". Personally, I think the subtitles would be better than dubs since they take away the entire context of the film and the humour is lost in translation. DTS would be better to give more impact. Like with many heavy dialogue films, DD 5.1 mixes are subtle and bring the oommph in your home theatre kit.
Extras- The extras are acceptable but I expected better. In terms of extras, there are no new contributions from the Coen brothers. There is an audio commentary from the Director of Photography. He mainly talks about the technical issues of the films. The commentary is slightly annoying and dry as he tries to remember certain scenes like "Oh yeah, I filmed that here" etc. I want a contribution from the Coen brothers themselves even if it means by getting them of the sofa; literally.
Alternatively, there is a trivia track if you don`t want to hear Deakin`s commentary. It is slightly better and gives interesting facts about the film particulary about Pancake house famously said by Peter Stormare and the definiton of truth taken from the words at the beginning "This is based on a true story".
"Minnesota Nice" is a retrospective documentary that features both new and archive interviews with the cast and crew. Only 50% worth looking at. The featurette gives too much of an EPK feel since many of the interviews are done during the time of the films release and not suprisingly the Coen brothers interviews are done during the time the film was being made.
There is another archive interview (around 1995) with the Coen brothers and McDormand from the Charlie Rose Show which lasts 20 mins. This is getting slightly repetitive and nothing new is being added.
There`s an article of 40 pages. This article is self explanatory. The rest is basic ingredients(including the obligatory and inevitable trailers) which many of you don`t consider to be special features. The extras are better than having a bare bones release like the previous MGM release of Fargo but pale in comparison to the other releases.
MGM provides a small 4 page booklet about the film and on the back, there are chapter selections.
Overall- You can forget the 2 recent Coen brother films Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers because Fargo is the Coens at their best at film making. Fargo is dark, tragic and funny(with weird accents). Fantastic performances from everyone. If you like black crime comedies like Pulp Fiction, you`ll like this although far more darker than QT`s masterpiece. You betcha, yah. :)
BTW, Where`s Pancake house? ;)
Part of the Coen brothers` bizarre sense of humor was to make a film noir almost entirely in white. What`s the French term for "light film"? "Fargo" is a comedy thriller set in and around Fargo, North Dakota, in the dead of winter. Everywhere you look, it`s snow. Miles and miles of white. The film opens in white snow, closes in white snow, and in between locates each of its murders in white snow. Like the color itself, it`s the most unpretentious, unexpected, low-key, and hilariously twisted murder mystery to come along since, well, since never.