The Man Who Wasn’t There

The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001): 1949, Santa Rosa, California. A laconic, chain-smoking barber with fallen arches (Billy Bob Thornton) tells a story of a man trying to escape a humdrum life. It’s a tale of suspected adultery, blackmail, foul play, death, Sacramento city slickers, racial slurs, invented war heroics, shaved legs, a gamine piano player, aliens, and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Ed Crane cuts hair in his in-law’s shop; his wife (Frances McDormand) drinks and may be having an affair with her boss, Big Dave (James Gandolfini), who has $10,000 to invest in a second department store. Ed gets wind of a chance to make money in dry cleaning. Blackmail and investment are his opportunity to be more than a man no one notices. Settle in the chair and listen.

Directed by Joel Coen

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