This deliriously dark and surprisingly moving hardboiled crime drama set against the snowy white landscape of a Minnesota winter is laced with all the flaky humor, local color and freakishly memorable characters that have become the Coen Brothers’ trademark, and here, for the first time, Oscar took notice, with the brothers winning an Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Frances McDormand winning Best Actress for he much-loved turn as Marge, the slow-talking, quick-thinking police chief up to her eyeballs in trouble. Hard-up used car dealer Jerry Lundegaard (a pitch-perfect William H. Macy) engineers the kidnapping of his own wife to ransom to his wealthy father-in-law/boss, but his hired goons, Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), botch the job, leading to a series of accidental mishaps and murders that spiral spectacularly out of control (you’ll never look at a wood chipper the same way again). Despite all the unforeseen curveballs, Jerry might just get away with his convoluted crime if not for the intrusion of the sharp-eyed, whip-smart and very pregnant police chief Marge, who is hot on the trail of the killers as she waddles through danger behind her enormous belly and her ever-escalating hunger for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Is this one of the Coen Brothers best films? “You betcha.” (Dir. by Joel Coen, 1996, USA, 98 mins., Rated R) 35mm