The Man Who Wasn't There

The Man Who Wasn't There ★★★★

I admired the restraint here, whereas other Coen movies go off-the-rails with craziness and idiotic characters making idiotic decisions, this movie held everyone on pretty even ground. I mean, all of those elements are still there, this is still a Coen's movie, but even the craziness, idiots, and symbolism are understated. Seeing this through the lens of a decade makes a difference. I understand that this, following O BROTHER's genre mimicry was causing some unrest amongst fans that the brothers were becoming imitators of their earlier inspirations, but it really doesn't look that way when you watch it today. It's smart, slow but steady, and aloof enough to really soak in the aesthetics without getting bombarded with insanity and dense symbolism you'd expect from the brothers.

It also sports Billy Bob's best performance ever, I'd say, whose excellence is a nice contrast against the miscast James Gandolfini who is just playing Tony Soprano, which is distracting as fuck.

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