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November 15, 2001 — 5 PM

Bathtubs and Razors

“And if they’ve got Frances and a bath of hot water ... well, there are those of us who could do a lot better.”

Salon writer David Thomson on Ms. McDormand’s role in the Coen brothers new festin noir.

The film is much more enjoyable than their previous effort, O Brother..., a picture that was blunt enough to pound nails into the floorboards. And while Billy Bob Thornton’s mannerisms usually grate on my patience, here he turns in an effective, low-key performance, and proves that he doesn’t need to live up to his given name in appearance all the time.

McDormand, bathtub, bubbles, blades and all, is her usual sparkling screen self. I didn’t realize she was actually married to Joel Coen, but it’s a shame the husband doesn’t let the wife out of the house more often to work for other directors; her talent is too rarely glimpsed.


Previously: Whom Do You Trust

Subsequently: Oceans Apart

November 2001
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