My Favorite Movies #5

'Fargo' is simply the best at what it does - offbeat comedy, gorgeous photography, and quirky characters shoved into life-and-death situations that they are in no way equipped to deal with. Frances McDormand does some of the best acting ever as Marge Gunderson, the sheriff of Brainerd, Minnesota, who investigates the disappearance of a local used-car salesman's wife, while extremely pregnant and extremely cold. She is a revelation in this film, giving the crazy goings-on a true heart, a true center, so the viewer can grab on and ride the coaster with her. The entire cast is brilliant, from William H. Macy to Steve Buscemi and everyone in between. The Coen brothers direct and write their magnum opus - it has the hilarity of 'The Big Lebowski,' the sadness of 'No Country for Old Men,' and the darkness of 'Blood Simple,' but the mix works like a charm. And the cinematography by Roger Deakins - stark, spare, but lush and engrossing at the same time. He can make a snowy parking lot in the ass-end of nowhere look like the most beatiful painting you've ever seen. It all fits together perfectly. In fact, 'Fargo' is just about a perfect film.

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