The Man Who Wasn't There Movie Review Summary

Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, James Gandolfini, Frances McDormand, Tony Shalhoub

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Man Who Wasn't There

The Coens continue their usual theme with murders gone wrong, but lose the humour to make a more serious film. Ed Crane is a barber who loves his wife, Doris. Soon, he finds out that she is having an affair with his boss, Big Dave. Ed then kills Dave, but Doris is accused of the crime. His barbershop is soon bankrupt.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Estefan Ellison

Ed Crane (Billie Bob Thorton) is a barber in a modest-sixed town in 'Anywhere' USA. He's married to Doris, an accountant for a locally-owned department store, who's having an affair with her boss, Big Dave (Gandolfini) - Ed knows about the affair, but doesn't act on this knowledge - yet. Wanting to better himself financially by investing in "Dry Cleaning" through a gay entrepreneur, Ed blackmails Big Dave for the $10,000 he needs to bankroll the enterprise. This starts a chain reaction of events, during which time Ed meditates on life, humanity, love, fate, karma-kickback, and what it means to be a barber. I don't want to give away too much, but this is a movie dealing with the human journey of soul and the universal questions that haunt all of us who are at all reflective about our lives - Who am I really? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life? What am I here to do? Ed gets his answers, but they come with more questions.
The review of this Movie prepared by Glenda Konopka

Ed Crane (Thornton) is a near-nonentity -- a barber in sleepy 1949 Santa Rosa. His wife (McDormand) may be having an affair with her boss (Gandolfini), a local furniture magnate. When a fast-talking huckster (Jon Polito) comes to town and tries to get Ed to go in with him on a dry-cleaning franchise, but requires a $10,000 investment, Crane decides to raise the dough by blackmailing his wife's lover. Complications lead to murder(s), and Ed's wife is accused of the (initial) crime. The latest Coen Brothers movie is a pseudo-noir filmed in glorious black and white; star Thornton's face is both a little too distinctive and too strikingly photographed to be believable as that of a nonentity -- he is indeed "there"; he stands out from the swirling crowd around him -- but Thornton underplays well, and Shalhoub is particularly pleasing as the sharp-talking, sharp-dressing, big-time lawyer brought in from Sacramento for the defense. The film is filled with laughs born of dry tension and anxiety. Excerpts from several lovely Beethoven piano sonatas float through the soundtrack.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Script Analysis of The Man Who Wasn't There

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Plot & Themes

Comedy, primarily    -   Yes Time/era of movie:    -   1930's-1950's Crime & Scandal    -   Yes Comedy or Parody about    -   criminals Blackmail & Seduction?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   blue collar Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest    -   California Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   prison

Writing Style

Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

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