The Man Who Wasn’t There


(out of 5)

Brilliant Coen brothers film about a placid barber () who tries to arrange a simple scam to get himself out of the boredom of his life. When a colourful entrepreneur comes to his small California town with the idea to start up a new retail scheme in something called “dry cleaning”, Thornton decides that making his own investment in the idea would be lucrative and save him from his mundane daily life of working the barber’s chair with his brother-in-law (). Trouble is, he doesn’t exactly have ten thousand dollars lying around to give the guy, so he decides blackmailing is the way to go. Knowing that his wife () is having an affair with her department store-owning boss (), he sends an anonymous letter to Gandolfini demanding the money or he’s going to tell on them for their indiscretion. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy a job as collecting the cash and walking away, and his attempt at the American Dream gets him in more trouble than he ever imagined. Beautifully photographed in black and white by cinematographer Roger Deakins, the film is subtle, poignant and absolutely elegant in structure and design, and benefits from a perfect cast.

, , , ,

United Kingdom/USA, 2001

Directed by 

Screenplay by , Joel Coen

Cinematography by

Produced by Ethan Coen

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen,

Film Festivals:  Cannes 2001

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award Nomination
Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Billy Bob Thornton)
Best Screenplay (Ethan Coen)

New York Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Cinematographer (Roger Deakins)

Los Angeles Film Critics Award
Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins)

National Society of Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins)

National Board Of Review Awards
Best Actor (Billy Bob Thornton)
Top Ten Films

Cannes Film Festival Award
Best Director (Joel Coen) (tie)

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Original Screenplay

British Academy Award
Best Cinematography

Cesar Award Nomination
Best Foreign Film

Boston Film Critics Award
Best Cinematography

Chicago Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Supporting Actor (Tony Shalhoub)
Best Cinematography



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