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The Man Who Wasn't There back to product details

Unique take on Film Noir
written by TAubuchon May 9, 2002 - 2:06 PM PDT
9 out of 9 members found this review helpful
This visually rich black and white explores the unexpected consequences of simple actions and chance encounters. As with all great film noir, the lack of color heightens ones visual imagination and draws you into this strange world. The stillness and subtleness of the film, makes for an enchanting feast of 'almost' still lifes of everyday objects in a less than everyday universe.

Billy Bob Thornton plays Ed the barber, removed, silent, ignored, trapped in random events that lead to the destruction of everything he encounters. His virtually silent performance is steeped with deep emotion and the few words and motions that do appear take great meaning and importance. Ed is utter sadness, isolation and tragedy.

Francis McDormand,James Gandolfini,Jon Polito all help to move the film which would almost stand still with out them. They add the necessary humor and action, to balance to Ed's quiet performance.

Francis is Ed's tough cookie wife, who desperately wants more out of life and marriage than Ed is capable of giving. She is a cold hearted, devious, drunk who is cheating on Ed with Big Dave(James Gandolfinini). Francis makes this character, funny, tragic and very human.

Jon Polito plays Creighton Tolliver a schemer who is desperate to start a chain of dry cleaning stores. Ed's obsession with dry cleaning, along with Jon Polito's performance are extremely humorous, in that dark ironic Fargo kind of way.

The Man Who Wasn't There is an excellent film that is fearlessly unique, yet pays homage to some of the great noir classics.


(Average 7.07)
416 Votes
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