The Man Who Wasn't There

…Wow. I got this movie out of a 3-movie rental deal, not expecting much (a friend had suggested that this was somehow the worst of the Coen Brothers’ films). It quietly blew me away.

It’s the most visually stunning film that I’ve ever seen.

The characters are eerily realistic, humans in an absurd, inhuman world.

It gives you an immense feeling of satisfaction and grief when you’re finished with it, like a pleasant punch in the gut.

I love it. I’m going to watch it again, later.


I wanted so bad to see this in the theater, but whenever we were going to the movies my friends always wanted to see something else.

I bought it the day it came out on DVD, and eventually made all those friends watch it. They loved it.

My brother told me that while he was watching it he kept thinking that he was so much like Ed Crane. It’s funny because he is (but not in a bad way…)

The movie also becomes much more enjoyable after listening to the commentary, in my opinion; if you have access to the DVD, I strongly recommend the commentary track.

[cinematography geek]

This movie made me fall even more in professional love with Roger Deakins.

This is what movies SHOULD look like.

The shot with Frances McDormand pulling on her nylons in the doorway (forgive me if I’m not too specific, I’m 3/4 through a bottle of wine) and the girl playing the piano are two of the most beautiful, painterly shots ever put down on film.

Deakins is by far the single most talented cinematographer working today, followed closey by Matthew Libatique.

[/cinematography geek]

I enjoy this movie quite a bit, even though it is just a little overwhelmingly bleak.

It is one of the few movies in past years that has thrown me into a bit of existential paranoia. During the last trial scenes, Freddy Riedenschneider begins describing the state of the mind of “modern man”, but he isn’t pointing at Ed Crane anymore, he’s pointing at us the audience. Or more specifically pointing at me, watching the movie.

“The Barber’s Dilemma”. Great to see a movie that can disrupt yourself every once in a while.

Obviously one of the Coen brothers’ films will eventually be their worst, luckily it will still be a movie by the Coen brothers. They haven’t yet made a movie I dislike.

Agreed, don’t. I mean, I agreed with you, don’t ask.

The Man Who Wasn’t There is the Coen brothers movie I remember the least about, possibly because I’ve only seen it once, in 2001. I remember the look of the movie, Billy Bob as a barber, and the movie’s last scene. It’s been on my list to re-rent for a while.

i was relieved to watch this movie! because i thought O Brother sucked. i didn’t think they could make a bad movie, but in my opinion O Brother was a poor show. favourite still Millers Crossing

I liked O Brother, personally. Okay, fluff, but incredibly entertaining and heartwarming, and masterfully crafted fluff.

Come on, there have got to be more people that have seen this movie.

I thought it was rather forced. I especially thought what happened on the way home from the audition was 100% completely implausible and that sorta ruined it for me. It was well done like all Coen Bros films, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. I guess I find the noir genre to be overdone to begin with and thought it was tedious. I haven’t seen it in a year or so, so aside from that one scene that sticks out I couldn’t put my finger on just what irked me about it. (Probably Billy Bob Thornton, who just bugs me.)

Billy Bob normally irks me, but in this movie, his incredible calm and constantly detatched mood were mesmerising. It’s easy to be wooden. It’s hard to be almost devoid of expression. Ed was in the latter half.

I love this one. Favorite lines:

Ed: “I’m going to take this hair…and mingle it with common house dirt.”

Birdie: “You’re an enthusiast.”
Ed: “Yeah, maybe.”

Ed: "Heavens to Betsy, Birdie!

I like Ed’s “I cut the hair” line, personally.

Yeah, but it didn’t make much of an impression on me. FilmGeek is right; it’s absolutely beautiful from a visual standpoint. But to me it just felt like a technical experiment that didn’t resonate with me at all. It felt cold and distant, and yes, that was pretty much the point, but by the end I felt like I had nothing to hold on to, nothing to connect with. I’d forgotten almost everything about it within a week.

It’s not even my least favorite Coen Brothers movie – that would be either Barton Fink, which I actively dislike, or The Hudsucker Proxy, which had a great concept but was executed badly (Jennifer Jason Leigh, that was directed at you). The Man Who Wasn’t There was just… there.

You’re scaring the kids, Jello.

After I saw this movie, I’ve noticed that the Coens seem to mock current trends in their movies by paralleling them to similar phenomena in their movies’ timelines.

In TMWWT, the scene with Ed and the medium seemed to be a knock on your Jon Edwards types, and Shaloub’s line “I litigate, I don’t captiulate” has to be a reference to the modern high-profile rhyming lawyer.

In O Brother, I always thought Everett’s monologue about how running everyone a wire and hooking them up to a grid would lead to a veritable Age of Reason reminded me of the hype when the internet first became popular.

But then again, I can’t think of similar instances in other Coen movies at the moment, so I could be talking out my cloaca.

I loved the movie. It’s hard to choose it as the Coen Brother’s best, since there are so many great candidates, but it’s far from their worst (which I’d give to The Big Lebowski, which rattles around but never adds up to much).

I’m grateful no one’s bothered to nitpick how something very obvious was overlooked by the police, since it isn’t relevant.