In 1940s California, barber Ed Crane blackmails his wife’s boss and lover, hoping to get money to invest in a new business. When the boss uncovers the truth, he attempts to kill Crane, setting off a string of unforeseeable and tragic events.
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Re-watch yesterday proved this to be far superior to the Coen's latest, "Hail, Caesar", which seems garish and bloated compared to the careful austerity of this Black + White neo-Noir. Are the Coen Bros. best days behind them?
The black and white photography from longtime collaborator Roger Deakins is arguably the most impressive of his superlative career. The characters are every bit as quirky as other memorable Coens personalities, with the supporting actors all adding flavor to the final product.
Billy Bob Thornton is exceptional as the introverted barber in this neonoir classic. The subdued melodrama is deliberately paced, and the moody black and white cinematography accentuates the film's intentionally rigid characters. Consider the parallels to Albert Camus' classic novel "The Stranger."
I usually find that voice overs are a very lazy way to tell a script, but this one may be the greatest exception. It's so well written, and it's fascinating to watch it a second time knowing the references to Camus.
An excellent salute to 40s Film Noir, a whole lot better than Polanski's "Chinatown". There isn't much to say about it, but the whole atmospheric feel of it hypnotized me. It's my favorite Coens brothers film.
And Law, I don't know what it has to do with Camus, I'd say it's closer to Carver.