Long before the spin-off TV series appeared, the Coens’ tale of kidnapping and murder was quickly recognised as a modern classic.
Dir Joel Coen
With Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, William H Macy
A Park Circus release
When deep-in-debt car salesman Jerry (Macy) hires two hoodlums (Buscemi, Stormare) to kidnap his own wife, expecting her father will pay the ransom, he kickstarts a chain of events that lead to pregnant police chief Marge Gunderson (McDormand) investigating a triple murder... Blending wry comedy and dark drama with imaginative expertise, the Coens’ meticulous script and measured direction make for a penetrating but affecting study of everyday decency confronted by various forms of mindless evil. Roger Deakins’ striking shots of the wintry Midwestern landscapes, Carter Burwell’s memorable score and uniformly excellent performances complete the magic.
Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large