The Man Who Wasn't There
October 31, 2001
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)
Comparison films for The Man Who Wasn't There
|Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
|Big Lebowski, The
|All the Pretty Horses
|Tailor of Panama, The
|Man Who Wasn't There, The