HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
Holiday
Lovin' Molly
Manhunt in the City
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Teen Witch
Devil's Brigade, The
Luck & Logic
Duel of the Masters
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  Man Who Wasn't There, The Anything For A Quiet LifeBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Joel Coen
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco, James Gandolfini, Tony Shalhoub, Katherine Borowitz, Jon Polito, Scarlett Johansson, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Kriesa, Brian Haley, Christopher McDonald
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 5 votes)
Review: Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) is a nobody in the 1940s: a taciturn barber who everyone takes for granted. He sees a chance to break out of his ordinary existence when a salesman customer offers him a partnership in a dry cleaning business: all he has to do is come up with the money. As Crane's wife is having an affair with his best friend, he sees the opportunity for blackmail, but he has set himself on the road to his ultimate downfall...

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen wrote this muted, black and white and grey story of a man who takes a wrong turn in life and lives to regret it. On the surface, the film is an homage from the cinema-literate Coens to those classic film noirs of the 1940s and 50s, but it has an off-kilter outlook which goes against such simple pigeonholing, resulting in something more than a straight tribute.

Crane's scheming wife (Frances McDormand), who traditionally should be the femme fatale here, ends up a tragic victim; the "good girl", the woman who should bring the protagonist a shot at redemption, turns out to be trashy and mediocre. In fact, most of the characters are presented in an almost cartoonish way, whether they are fast-talking lawyers or flamboyant piano teachers, yet the mordant humour doesn't let them become too over the top.

Only the laconic Crane remains an oasis of subdued calm at the centre of the story, dryly musing on how he sowed the seeds of his own doom, and how the increasingly gloomy events panned out - Thornton hits just the right note. The sombre, slow-moving mood gives the impression of throwing a pebble into a pond and watching the ripples on the surface of the water.

To use another analogy, the whole affair is also like peeling the layers of skin from an onion: we see how blackmail leads to murder, how murder leads to injustice, and so forth, but the truth is always nebulous. A confession of murder is disbelieved, the victim's wife is convinced that her husband's death was to slience him about their abduction by space aliens, and nothing is as it seems at the start. Each revelation complicates the story.

What is it that has led Crane down this path? Is it simple greed? Or did he think he deserved a better life? How could he be so stupid as to fall for a con like that in the first place? It's as if stepping outside his humdrum world has brought the wrath of fate down upon him. Unfortunately, the shifting nature of the narrative, coupled with the deliberate pace and Thornton's monotonal voiceover, may send you to sleep. Also with: possibly the most smoking of any movie ever. Wonderful photography by Roger Deakins, and music by Carter Burwell (with some Beethoven thrown in for good measure).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3854 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: