Just happened to catch the restored director's cut of this on one of the Canadian movie channels the other night and was very impressed. Early (1984) Coen brothers film for those of you not in the know. Twist on standard film noir, and in some ways sort of an answer to Body Heat, in that conventions are all twisted around. Characters are always acting with no idea of what they're actually doing, right to the conclusion. Murders never take place on a face-to-face basis. Script is intricate and masterfully plotted. Very "arty" look to the movie as well. Cinematography--by Barry Sonnenfeld, oddly enough--is pretty lavish and there are a lot of touches reminiscent of Hitchcock. I think Tom's recommended the movie here before, so I'd like to second that.
Anyhow, seeing Blood Simple turned me around about the Coen brothers, whom I've never liked all that much. Then I happened to catch Fargo on the same channel yesterday. And returned to my earlier perspective. I still can't stand that movie. What seemed natural, albeit a little playful in Blood Simple, seemed forced and obvious in Fargo.