BillyBobapalooza

Billy Bob's Filmography

THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE (2001)

Distributor
USA Entertainment

Director
Joel Coen

Writers
Ethan and Joel Coen

Character
Ed Crane

Movie Quote
ED:  Now being a barber is a lot like being a barman or a soda-jerk; there's not much to it once you've learned the basic moves.  For the kids there's the Butch, or the Heinie, the Flat Top, the Ivy, the Crew, the Vanguard, the Junior Contour and, occasionally, the Executive Contour.  Adults get variations on the same, along with the Duck Butt, the Timberline, and something we call the Alpine Rope Toss.

Plot
Poor Ed Crane is a gentle, rather passive barber trapped in a loveless marriage and a dead-end job in his brother-in-law's shop. Chain smoking and doing most of his talking in voice-over narration, Ed is the ultimate Mr. Cellophane, barely acknowledged, scarcely participating in the world. His wife Doris (Francis McDormand) is having an affair with her boss, Big Dave (James Gandolfini) and helping him to embezzle from the department store where they both work. Ed takes action for the first time in his life when he decides to go into dry cleaning--the industry of the future. He tries to raise the capital for this new venture by blackmailing Big Dave. Blackmail quickly escalates to murder, but it's Doris, not Ed, who winds up taking the rap. 

What Billy Bob Gets To Do
Watch this, and you'll believe that Billy Bob could have been a HUGE silent film star.

Backstory
No self-respecting BBT fan can pass up this tale about a barber whose middle-brow dreams lead to grief and tragi-comedy for all concerned.   Shot under the title THE BARBER MOVIE, THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE is yet another fine slice of Coen Brothers' Americana--a sort of SHADOW OF A DOUBT for existentialists. Stellar performances all the way around from Tony Shaloub, Michael Badalucci, Katherine Borowitz, Scarlett Johanssen (you gotta love a character named Birdy Abundas), and Jon Polito.  Billy Bob actually went to barber school to learn how to cut hair and actually gave flattop cuts to nervous extras on the set.  His commitment to the character of Ed Crane was so thorough that he even smoked cigarettes while recording Ed's voice-over narrations.

Awards (for Billy Bob Thornton)
AFI Film Award (Actor of the Year, Male) - 2002 - Nomination
National Board of Review USA (Best Actor) - 2001 - Winner
Saturn Award (Best Actor) - 2002 - Nomination
DVD Premiere Award (Best Audio Commentary) - 2003 - Nomination
Empire Award  (Best Actor) - 2002 - Nomination
Florida Film Critics Circle (Best Actor) - 2002 - Winner
Golden Globe (Best Actor, Drama) - 2002 - Nomination
London Critics Circle Film Award (Actor of the Year) - 2002 - Winner
Online Film Critics Society Award (Best Actor) - 2002 - Winner
Russian Guild of Film Critics (Best Foreign Actor) - 2002 - Winner
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award (Best Actor) - 2002 - Winner

Awards (for THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE)
The list is beyond extensive; here's the IMDb awards page.

Relevant Links
IMDb Link
Official French Site
FILM FORCE IGN page links to interviews with BBT, Joel Coen
Movie Mania page with multimedia and related links
Working Title Films Official Site
Box Office Prophets preview page
Scott Trimble's Location Scout filming location site
BBC interviews BBT
You Know, For Kids!  Paul Tweedle's groovy Coen Brothers Site, the best on the net!
Coenesque:  Another Coen Brothers tribute site
Cannes interview

Related Merchandise
The trade paperback edition of the Coen Brothers' screenplay, published by Faber and Faber, includes a scream-out-loud-funny introduction by the film's fussy, British editor "Roderick Jaynes."  Carter Burwell's soundtrack includes a bit of Birdy Abundas-style Beethoven.


BBT On DVD
Billy Bob and the Coen Brothers make commentary tracks on the DVD, along with a "making of" featurette, deleted scenes, trailers, and an interview with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (see also LEVITY for Deakins' matchless work), who shot the film in rapturous black and white. 

Photo credit:  © 2001 USA Films (Thanks, Patster, for the video capture.)

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© 2004 by . . . Like the Wind Productions/Lonesome Rogues Design. This page is intended for entertainment and reference purposes only and is not intended to make a profit.  Film commentary reflects the opinions of the webmasters Amélie and Sage and not the opinions of Billy Bob Thornton or his representatives.