“The Man Who Wasn’t There” (2001) Directed by The Coen Brothers



Set in 1949 and completely in Black and White, this is film noir in every sense, from the constant use of light and dark shadows throughout the story of “Ed Crane”, and a disaffected and alienated character at odds with the world that surrounds him.

“Ed Crane” (Billy Bob Thornton) A career high performance from Billy Bob Thornton as the disaffected and apathetic barber Ed Crane. A slow, methodical and still performance perfectly encapsulating Ed’s distance from a world he doesn’t understand and from a world he doesn’t want to be a part of. Against a busy backdrop of people and chattering conversations his vacant stare is continually evident at a world in general he simply seems to have given up on despite a successful career and seeming home life. This is Billy Bob Thornton’s film from start to finish as we follow his every move and he’s in nearly every scene of the film. He is captivating as Crane, cigarette perennially dangling from his mouth, blank, cold expression, so alienated from the world.

Thornton’s performance is mesmerising.

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The above opening paragraphs are taken from my original spoiler free review of “The Man Who Wasn’t There” penned and published over a decade ago, transferred to my Medium blog site and which can now be read in full and for free via my Substack blog site and original updated article linked immediately below. Also linked below is my original opus blog article on the cinematic career of the Coen Brothers.

This spoiler free review is also integral to my 7 volumes of “essential film reviews collection”. Currently only available as an ebook on Amazon, all 7 volumes are priced at £4.99 each however, should you have an Amazon Kindle “Unlimited” package you can read each and every exhaustive volume full of spoiler free reviews for free:

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