One of the worst movies I've ever seen, made even worse by the fact that the Coen Brothers did it (yea they make sucky movies but their good ones are brilliant). Tony Shaloob's character partly explains Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle at some point in the movie--I wanted to be uncertain about it, but no--it is just simply wretched.
was a great noir debut about misunderstanding identity. Raising Arizona was a screwball comedy about stealing an identity. Miller's Crossing was a deep gangster movie about discovering identity ("Nobody knows anybody. Not that well") Barton Fink was a Hollywood insiders movie about understanding your own identity. The Hudsucker Proxy was a fast-talking dialogue driven 1930s comedy about keeping your identity in the face of all odds against. Fargo … more
Bar none the Coen's remain my favorite film makers but the 2000's didn't start out for them that well. O Brother, was loved by some and panned by others, there was this film and later came Intolerable Cruelty which some saw as too commercial and The Ladykillers for being too weak for some including myself. The Man Who Wasn't There isn't a "bad" movie but it could have been filmed on ambien instead of film cause it can … more
Though not a passionate Coen brothers' films fan, I think THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE is more than just another one of their quirky films. This beautifully photographed film unfolds a story so unique that it justifies all the directorial techniques it receives. Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, and James Gandolfini are visually and technically marvelous. The method of telling this dark tale of revengeful moves in black and white accompanied by piano sonatas of Beethoven is a delight. The twists … more
Pros: Billy Bob! Frances McDormand Cons: nothing The Bottom Line: Bottom line is that this film is a WINNER. Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. I live in such a googy small town that this was playing as a "Special Events" - the regular movie houses wouldn't touch it! Looking back - I think it was a perfect choice. The latest by the Cohen Brothers is not a dissapointment … more
For all of its late-1940s cold war paranoia, pulp fiction dialogue, and frenzied greed, Joel and Ethan Coen'sThe Man Who Wasn't Thereis their most cool and collected film sinceBlood Simple. An unassuming barber with a scheming wife (Frances McDormand) and a serious smoking habit, Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) is an onlooker to his own life, a ghostly presence set against a silver-toned film noir backdrop. Only when he decides to alter his fate by blackmailing his wife's lover (James Gandolfini) in order to invest with a traveling salesman (Jon Polito) touting the wave of the future--dry cleaning--do we begin to hear the full extent of Ed's understated, existential lament. As his lawyer (Tony Shalhoub) says in Ed's defense at his eventual trial for murder, "He is modern man." Thornton's deadpan eloquence and cinematographer Roger Deakins's precision lighting offer the perfect counterbalance to the requisite one-liners, plot twists, and false endings that have come to characterize recent Coen brothers films. Almost in spite of the obsessive cultural references (flying saucers, Nabokov'sLolita, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle), Ed Crane steps neatly from the fray as one of cinema's most memorably disenchanted characters.--Fionn Meade
The Coen brothers' THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE is a brilliantly photographed black-and-white absurdist noir set in Santa Rosa, California, in 1949. Ed Crane (the outstanding Billy Bob ...