The Man Who Wasn’t There

Viewed – 30 May 2008  Television

I’ve always been a fan of The Coen Brothers. The sibling directors have constantly delivered with the likes of Millers Crossing, Raising Arizona, O Brother Where Art Thou? and especially the sublime The Big Lebowski proving some of the most perfectly crafted and enjoyable films I have seen.  This one came about during a bit of a hiatus when they delivered big studio-backed fair such as Intolerable Cruelty and The Lady-killers which many consider miss-steps in their otherwise un-tarnished reputation. I myself didn’t enjoy ‘Cruelty, and feel the name was fittingly ironic.

Yet this gentle and fascinating murder mystery about a quite Barber who suspects his wife of having an affair was decidedly the Coens on form again – small town with likeable, fascinating characters that seem worthy of their own films alone. Billy Bob Thornton has the kind of face and personality born for a Coens film, and he doesn’t disappoint – and add excellent support from Coens regular Francis McDormond along with James Gandolfini complete with beautiful black & white cinematography and this sits proudly along with the Coens best.

Verdict: 4 /5

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