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The Man Who Wasn't There

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The Man Who Wasn't There

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
116 minutes
Wide Release Date:
10/31/01
performer:
Frances McDormand, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Badalucco, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Polito, Tony Shalhoub
director:
Joel Coen
Producers:
Working Title Films
distributor:
USA Films
author:
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
genre:
Comedy, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B+

Billy Bob Thornton stars as a wormy, soft-spoken barber whose wife (Frances McDormand) is having an affair with her boss (James Gandolfini, in full brooding bully mode). Rendered in satiny black and white, virtually every image in The Man Who Wasn’t There has a stately composed dreaminess. The exception is Thornton’s face, which pierces the film with its incongruous, taunting challenge of dismay. The Coen brothers, taking off from the work of James M. Cain and other hard-boiled fictions, craft a plot that’s a sleazy morass of chicanery, blackmail, and murder.