Sunday, April 23, 2017

"The Man Who Wasn't There"

This film from 2001 was watched tonight.  It was new here, and stumbled into on a night when a good film was needed.  It's an unlikely Coen brothers film, with Billy Bob Thornton, Francis McDormand, James Gandolfini, and Scarlett Johansson among others.

It is a noir crime drama set in a San Francisco suburb in the late 1940's.  The pace of the film is steady. Nothing is rushed.  Thornton, as the main character, is a stoic low key barber who speaks as little as possible but aspires to a better life.  This aspiration evolves into a story that includes blackmail, murder, cooked books, an unfaithful wife,  a major car wreck, two trials, and an execution. The overall story hangs together in a straightforward and not completely predictable way.  I doubt if it is seen by many as a great film, but it was engaging enough for tonight.  Overall it was a grim tale.

It was on Starz and will no doubt be shown again in the coming days.

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