Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is having financial troubles and cannot think of a way to improve his situation, so he decideds to do something a little bit crazy but he thinks it's going to work, without taking in consideration the thousand possible things that could go wrong; he hires 2 hitman to kidnap his wife in order to ask her wealthy father for the ransom money and then split it between the kidnappers and himself.
Jerry hires Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) who is the one who does all the talking and seems to be more 'normal', but Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) is the quite one who doesn't hesitate to kill someone even if it's an innocent person. After this two men kidnap Jerry's wife they have to kill a couple of people, including a cop, and the police starts an investigation. Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) is a pregnant police officer who seems to be pretty smart for this kind of situations, from the beggining she starts noticing small details that lead her to interview Jerry at his work. The ransom payment doesn't go the exact way it was supossed to be, and things change. Marge is also getting closer to solving the case.
I don't want to spoil it for you so that's about everything I could say. Many people say this is the Coen Brothers' finest film, I myself haven't seen all of their films but I do agree with the being a very fine film part. Although the film mainly belongs to the drama/crime genre, the director was able to somehow introduce a slight touch of comedy into it which made it great; this consists in mostly dialogues, so the film doesn't lose it's serios atmosphere. The story is excellent, you never know what the characters are going to do next and it doesn't get boring at any point. There is a Murphy Law that says something like this: "If something can go wrong, it will go wrong". In movies this law is always ignored, even in those cases where you could see from a mile away that something can (or will) go wrong.
The acting in this film was just great, the cast couldn't possibly be better. Macy did a great job as the 'not very astute' man who was having financial problems; Harve Presnell as the wealthy father who wouldn't care much about his daughter's husband was great; Buscemi has never disappointed me with his performances and this is no exception; most of the roles I've seen Stormare play are dumb and sort of crazy characters (Chocolat, Armaggedon), but in here he played the silent cold blooded killer pretty good I must say; Anf of course the person who made the biggest impact in this film was McDormand, who lightens up the screen as soon as she appears for the very first time. That performance got her an Oscar for Best Actress. I would recommend this film to anyone, it's one of the best of it's kind.
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