Saturday, July 3, 2010

Coen entropy

As usual with Coen Brothers films, The Man Who Wasn't There is visually stunning, and has its share of odd touches and sublime moments that set the film makers from the rest of the herd . I think it's the least interesting of their movies, though. The varying elements of a James Cain flavored noir thriller filtered through Camus-toned existentialism and the zany insertion of UFOs makes me think of bright guys brain storming against deadline; much of the meaning of Coen Brothers movies is open ended and deferred, but this film just couldn't merge the oddities. Billy Bob Thorton, though, needs special credit for maintaining his granite faced deadpan in a film full of eagerly demonstrative actors. And his flat effect is so consistent and untouched by a hint of actorly style that you would swear that his chain smoking is a real life death wish.