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The Man Who Wasn’t There

Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton), a laconic (most of his dialogue is in the form of voice-over) small–town barber, is an extremely ordinary man. Suspicion of an affair between his loquacious wife, Doris (Frances McDormand) and her boss, played by the late James Gandolfini, sets in motion the Coen Brothers definitive take on the classic film noir. Cinematographer Roger Deakins won many awards for his beautiful black and white cinematography, and director Joel Coen won the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Man Who Wasn’t There (Directed by Joel Coen, 2001, 117 min. min., United States, b&w, Rated R)

“The look, feel and ingenuity of this film are so lovingly modulated you wonder if anyone else could have done it better than the Coens….. If the Coens have taken two hours to do what hardly anyone else could do at all, isn't it churlish to ask why they didn't take less time to do what everyone can do?”  - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 2, 2001

 “…this fastidiously hyperreal neo-noir suggests a sadder but wiser remake of the Coens' rambunctious debut, Blood Simple, and is even more a pastiche of tough-guy novelist James M. Cain……[Billy Bob Thornton’s] chiseled mask of tragedy could make him the poster boy for Prozac.” - J. Hobermg

For more information:

Internet Movie Database

Movie Review Query Engine


Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:30am to 1:00pm

Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

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Films at the Pratt

Event Publisher

Judy Cooper

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