Second Chance Cinema

While Sweeney Todd is a barber out for death, Ed Crane is a barber just hoping for a life.

Billy Bob Thornton plays the quiet, nearly lethargic barber perfectly in "The Man Who Wasn't There," the Coen brother's film noir homage and most recent masterpiece.

The film follows Crane's mundane life of listening to his brother-in-law (Michael Badalucco) prattle on and dealing with his wife's (Frances McDormand) boozing and likely affairs with her boss (James Gandolfini).

An offer for a dry cleaning business throws Crane into a tempest of murder and deceit that belies his still ultra-steady persona. The Coens perfectly craft and pace the story, to which the siblings add their own creative touches to the film noir genre, and a slew of supporting characters, ranging from Tony Shalhoub to Scarlett Johansson, add even more depth to the movie.

The greatness and theme of "The Man Who Wasn't There" brings to mind two questions: Why haven't the Coens found this magic since and what is it about barbers and murders?,”Matthew T. Olson”