Coen Brothers do black and white noir? Yup, Joel and Ethan pretty much showed us that they can engulf us in any kind of character, whether it be Jeff Bridges as a cowboy, or Billy Bob Thorton as a depressed murder. But does it match up to their body of work?
The Man Who Wasn’t There is the story of the barber, Ed Crane. The barber is in a rut. He basically just lives day to day, cutting hair, and not really much of anything else. His marriage is basically non-existent, proven by his wife’s infidelity with her boss (James Gandolfini). Surprisingly though, Crane isn’t bothered by this. However, when the chance at a once-in-a-lifetime agreement comes up and he needs some cash, he ends up blackmailing the cheating boss. After that it’s murder, cover up, wrongful accusations, Scarlett Johansson, and oh yeah, UFO’s.
First thing’s first, this is a gorgeous movie. The black and white with the smoke filling up each room is beautiful cinematography. The story isn’t that bad either, with some good twists. However, nothing stands out besides those two. Although Thorton does a good job playing his role, why should we be rooting for him in the first place? Yes, we’ve all had that time where we feel like our lives are meaningless, but not feel anything about your own wife cheating on you? Not very identifiable.