The Coens return to the film noir terrain of their debut Blood Simple in this twisting tale of infidelity, blackmail and death. Set in northern California in the late 1940s, it's the story of Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton), a small-town barber who's dissatisfied with his life. An encounter with a travelling entrepreneur, and the knowledge of his wife's (Frances McDormand) infidelity with 'Big Dave' Brewster (James Gandolfini) presents Ed with an opportunity for blackmail that he hopes will help him to change his luck. However, Ed's scheme unravels and lays bare even darker secrets . . .