In "Fargo," Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is a Minneapolis car salesman who has gotten himself into debt and is so desperate for money that he hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his own wife. His plan is to collect the ransom from his wealthy father-in-law to pay the thugs and keep the rest to satisfy his debts. The scheme collapses when the kidnappers murder three innocent victims in rural Minnesota, drawing the local Police Chief, Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), into her first homicide investigation. Winner of two Academy Awards® for Supporting Actress (Frances McDormand) and Original Screenplay. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director of Photography Roger A. Deakins, an interview with the Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand (HD 20:32), the Minnesota Nice featurette (HD 27:48), an American Cinematography article, the theatrical trailer, a television spot, and a still photo gallery.
The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed on film using the Arriflex 35 camera and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. Last reviewed in Issue 221, November 2017 as the 20th Anniversary Edition, this is the same remastered picture though as a 4K Ultra HD transfer. Photographed on film, while there is apparent grain, it is never objectionable and the picture exhibits imagery that is impressively cinematic. The color palette, especially during interiors, is warmly hued and perfectly natural in appearance. Colors are nicely saturated and vibrant. The cold wintery, powdered snow settings are realistically white in presence. Flesh tones are perfectly natural as well. HDR contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation, as well as brilliant white levels throughout. Resolution is superb with fine detail exhibited throughout, especially during closeups of facial features and the characters' cold breaths. This presentation is now the reference rendering of this classic. (Gary Reber)
Originally presented in Dolby Spectral Recording Stereo, the remastered DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is perfectly executed, though, the sound focus is still frontal, with at times subtle surround envelopment, primarily from Carter Burwell’s music score and during segments of car engine sounds and gunshots. While frontal focused, atmospherics and sound effects are nicely resolved with excellent fidelity and presence. Dialogue is perfectly intelligible, with effective spatial integration. While the sound mix is reserved in dimension and usually focused around the dialogue, the quality of this remix is notably more dynamic and pleasurable. (Gary Reber)