Fargo (1996, Joel Coen)
I'll cut the crap and start by stating my opinion on the film. After viewing it recently on IFC, it's in my top ten of all time. This was the first time I'd seen it in at least two years. That was before I was really into film. I had liked it, but didn't think it was great and kind of pushed it to the back of my mind. Now, it's right at the very Everything about it is perfect. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a dark comedy, but I would say it is a very funny dark drama. In particular, the dialog is very subtly hilarious.
The acting is amazing, particularly that of the truly gifted Frances McDormand (wife of writer Ethan Coen), the outstanding character actor William H. Macy, the also outstanding character actor and frequent Coen cast member Steve Buscemi, and Harve Presnell. The direction is also superb. Joel Coen's film is truly beautiful to look at.
The wood chipper scene is one of the absolute most disturbing things I've ever seen in a film. I instantly became nauseated by seeing it. That's truly about as gruesome as I can imagine a murder possibly being.
Is Fargo a masterpiece? As the film's spunky female cop protaganist Marge Gunderson (McDormand) would say, "you betcha!"