The Man Who Wasn't There

Release Date: October 31, 2001
Limited release

I took you seroiusly when you said to take a little off the top.

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The Coen Brothers revisit their serious side with this somber and very noir film. Premiering at the Cannes International Film Festival and earning its director, Joel Coen, the best director award (in a tie with David Lynch), this black-and-white presentation has a cool and calm feel akin to another Coens' film, Miller's Crossing, but without the edge.

The Coens, Joel and Ethan, bring back a familiar cast with them. The list reads like a Who's Who of former Coen Brothers collaborators. Frances McDormand returns to star in her husband Joel's film, their first collaboration since McDormand won an Oscar for her part in the Coen Brothers' Fargo. Michael Badalucco is once again cast by the Brothers after their recent collaboration in last year's O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Tony Shalhoub makes his first appearance in a Coen Brothers' film since Barton Fink. Introduced into this mix of the recent, distant and continued past and playing the lead role is a newcomer to a Coen Brothers' project, Billy Bob Thornton. This mix of excellent actors will surely make the acting in the movie worth the price of admission alone.

The film feels like a murder mystery with a strong emotional center. Set in 1949, this black-and-white filmed movie focuses on a barber who becomes intertwined in a web of lies and blackmail after he finds out that his wife is having an affair.

Judging by past box office performances and early critical acclaim, this film could very well increase its original limited run into a national run. While the film doesn't have the star power of O Brother's George Clooney, it could very well be just mainstream enough to attract a good audience. As the Coen Brothers movies gross more money, the support they receive from the studios grows. This film will also likely be around during Oscar time. (Walid Habboub/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Man Who Wasn't There
Main Cast Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco, James Gandolfini
Supporting Cast Katherine Borowitz, Jon Polito, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Shalhoub
Director Joel Cohen, Ethan Cohen
Screenwriter Joel Cohen, Ethan Cohen
Distributor USA Films
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating R
Running Time 116 minutes
Screen Count 39
Awards Awards page for The Man Who Wasn't There
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Man Who Wasn't There
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Traffic 1/5/0115.52 16.56 1510 10277.00 10549.8 124.11 132.46 7.96
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 1/12/017.73 8.25 693 11154.00 11450.1 128.07 136.68 13.99
Almost Famous 9/22/006.93 7.75 1193 5809.00 6250.9 32.47 36.32 4.22
Big Lebowski, The 3/6/985.53 7.10 1207 4582.00 5666.4 17.45 22.43 3.16
All the Pretty Horses 12/29/003.47 3.88 1548 2242.00 2412.5 15.53 17.37 2.34
Fargo 4/5/962.54 3.46 716 3547.00 4654.4 24.57 33.52 5.89
Tailor of Panama, The 4/20/011.58 1.68 359 4406.00 4523.0 13.49 14.39 5.26
Man Who Wasn't There, The 11/9/011.02 1.08 169 6011.00 6170.6 7.49 7.99 6.44



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