Jerry Lundegaard (Macy) is a Minneapolis car salesman who has gotten himself into debt and is so desperate for money that he hires two thugs (Buscemi and 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 (McDormand), into her first homicide investigation. (Suzanne Hodges)
Special features include commentary with Director of Photography Roger A. Deakins, the Minnesota Nice documentary (HD 27:47), a trivia track, an American Cinematographer article, a photo gallery, the theatrical trailer, a TV spot, and upfront previews.
The 1.85:1 1080p AVC remastered picture is rock solid, even during the opening white, snow-covered landscape and road. The imagery appears pristine throughout, with no apparent artifacts. Contrast is greatly improved, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation throughout. The color palette, especially during interiors, is warmly hued and perfectly natural in appearance. Yet, the wintery, powdered snow remains realistically white in presence. Fleshtones are spot on as well. Grain is extremely fine, while the imagery is impressively cinematic. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited throughout. This is a really fresh and dramatic rendering of a classic that is sure to please fans. (Gary Reber)
The newly 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 new remix is notably more dynamic and pleasurable. (Gary Reber)