Minnesota nice turns dark in this Academy Award-winning film (Original Screenplay, the Coen Brothers; Best Actress, Frances McDormand) from Joel and Ethan Coen. William H. Macy plays bumbling car salesman Jerry Lundegaard who lands himself in debt embezzling money through his father-in-law’s car dealership in a scheme using fake auto sales. To cover his tracks and make back the money, he hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife for ransom.

The plan quickly goes sideways and a pregnant Sheriff from Fargo, North Dakota (Marge Gunderson played by McDormand) joins the investigation when a Minnesota trooper turns up dead. The gritty cinematography and poetry-in-white by cinematographer Roger A. Deakins turn the setting into a character of its own in this visceral dark comedy, anchored by a near perfect performance by McDormand who nails the upper midwestern accent.

This Shout! Studios release of Fargo is a new 4K scan and restoration of the original camera negative, supervised by Deakins. Taken from medium- to high-speed Eastman EXR 200T 5293 35mm film stock, the transfer is richly detailed, crisp, and has a densely packed grain structure. The color palette moves from the warm indoor scenes to the cool, desaturated snowy outdoors.

The tone of the white snow shifts from very cool, stark white to off-white and white with dirty brown mingled in as the film progresses. The 2160p (4K UHD) film is spread across a 100GB platter and framed at 1.85:1 with Dolby Vision high-dynamic range encoding. The Dolby Vison grading preserves natural flesh tones while presenting a gorgeous big blue sky and vermillion reds against the white snow. Shadow details are nuanced and I saw no issues with noise or edge enhancement.

Fargo arrives in 4K with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is subtle yet balanced and well-suited to dialogue-driven scenes with enough low-end to underpin the action. Voices come through clearly while the surround channels add atmospherics and ambience.

The only extra included on the main disc is an excellent archival audio commentary by Deakins. Several previously-released bonus features are also included on the remastered HD Blu-ray disc, including an article from American Cinematographer and an on-camera interview with the Coen brothers and McDormand.

STUDIO: Shout! Studios, 1996
HDR FORMAT: Dolby Vision, HDR10
AUDIO FORMAT: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
LENGTH: 98 mins., R
DIRECTOR: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
STARRING: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Harve Presnell, Kristin Rudrüd, John Carroll Lynch

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tolawax814's picture

For acoustical drywall company, Fargo is a gripping dark comedy that skillfully weaves Minnesota nice into a twisted tale of crime and deception.

joedavidson's picture

I watched Fargo after hearing great reviews, and it was absolutely worth it! Despite the struggle I faced in figuring out how hard is it to repair drywall, I finally enjoyed the movie.

nancy12's picture

I watched this movie this is a great movie. Did anyone watch Ghostbusters this is also a great must-watch. Ghostbusters Frozen Empire Jacket