I'm not promising you'll like either, but they're both good, and The Man Who Wasn't There is one of the best of last year. Ghost World's a little visually bland for me, but its portrait of teenagers and Americana is well observed.
I just watched both of these. "The Man Who Wasn't There" was a blind purchase based on recommendations here at HTF; "Ghost World" was a rental.
I highly recommend TMWWT. No regrets on that purchase at all. Very classy, engaging, interesting film from the Coen brothers.
I'd recommend you rent GW first. I had rather high expectatations after all the raves I'd read, so maybe I was set up for a disappointment, but I didn't think it was all that great. Almost blind-purchased GW. Glad I didn't as it's not likely to be anything I'd watch again.
I would highly recommend Ghost World. I just rented it for the second time in two months, which is something I NEVER do. Now I've decided that I love it so much that I'm going to buy it. Therefore, I've shelled out the cost of the DVD plus two rentals when I should've just bought it from the get-go.
Of course, your mileage may vary. I really love this movie, though. Link Removed
Both of these are very personal films, I think. I would recommend that you rent both of them and then decide. With Ghost World, I think you'll know instantly if it's your kind of film or not. With The Man, I second the recommendation that you give it at least two tries if at first it doesn't grab you. It's a very subtle film.
Heres 2 reviews.I check this site every week, I think he has great taste in movies and I often see a movie based on his recommendation.This is actually the critic I go by(Ebert seems out of touch in recent years)A link to James Berardinellis site Link Removed Link Removed Link Removed
I personally could not recommend The Man Who Wasn't There any stronger. This was probably my favorite movie of last year.
This movie does everything right. The screenplay is perfect (typical of most Coen Bros. movies), the cinematography is astonishing, and the acting is top notch.
While some may find this movie to be a bit slow paced, I was absolutely intrigued the entire time and could not take my eyes off the screen!
The DVD transfer is excellent. It really shows off the incredible black and white cinematography of Roger Deakins! (you do know its black and white, right? Nobody else mentioned that).
So, for me, TMWWT gets :star::star::star::star::star:
As for Ghost World, I enjoyed it, but wouldn't buy it as I don't really think it is worth repeated viewings (I rented it). Your opinion may differ though!
Haven't seen The Man Who Wasn't There... but Ghost World was one of my favorite movies of 2001 (definately in my top 5). I would recommend doing what I do... buy ANYTHING you have the slightest WANT to see, watch it... then if you like it, KEEP IT... and if you don't... EBAY IT (usually, the difference is less than a rental or only a little more).
I haven't seen GW but I would strongly sugggest you rent TMWWT before you buy it. In my book, it gets a 10 in cinematography and acting but a much lower grade in everything else. It's painfully slow in spots and, overall, felt like one of the more self-indulgent Cohen films to me.
One more rave for Ghost World. Definitely my favorite movie of 2001. I think this movie will be a little more personal to people like me, who have ever felt like they didnt belong, or had a hard time finding someone who could understand them.
The first 30 minutes of the movie, the two girls can be pretty annoying, and although when I was their age, I wasnt like they are, after the movie hits the 50-60 minute point, the real purpose of the movie starts to shine through. I love this film and even though some people say it doesnt have a good repeat viewings ratio, I've watched my copy 4 times already (5 if you include the VHS tape I rented a couple months ago before I had ever seen it).