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Film / The Accountant (2001)

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The Accountant is a 2001 short film (38 minutes) written and directed by Ray Mc Kinnon.

Tommy O'Dell (Walton Goggins) and his brother Eddie have a family farm somewhere in the American South. The farm is not doing very well, and the brothers have a lot of debt. Tommy, inspired by a neighbor who lost an arm in a farming accident but got a large settlement, decides to commit some insurance fraud to bail the farm out.

Enter the accountant (McKinnon), a specialist in fraud brought in by Tommy to help the brothers decide what to do. After examining the books and finding that the brothers owe over $277,000, the accountant starts considering various ways of bailing the brothers out. Burning down the house is considered but dismissed because Eddie needs the house to live in. Arranging some sort of horrible accident to maim Eddie is rejected by Eddie. That leaves the most radical option—murder Eddie's wife for the insurance money. As the accountant reveals to Eddie, he has discovered, from a couple of subtle clues in the books, that Eddie's wife is cheating on him.

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No connection to that movie with Ben Affleck.


Tropes:

  • Batman Gambit: Tommy asks the account how he knew that Eddie wouldn't go ahead and kill his wife. The accountant replies that Eddie was a good person who donated to his church and the Boy Scouts. His realization that he was a failure as a husband as well as a father, and his desire for his kids to have a mother, added up to Eddie killing himself.
  • Black Comedy: Pretty dark, but funny, like when Eddie is shouting about how he won't be able to farm well on a couple of stumps, or when the accountant says Eddie will have to watch out for his wife getting twitchy after he feeds her the insecticide.
  • Down on the Farm: A farm that's about to be foreclosed on if Tommy and Eddie don't come up with some money.
  • Driven to Suicide: After finding out about his wife's infidelity, Eddie kills himself.
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  • Feet-First Introduction: After some long shots showing the accountant's ancient truck approaching the farm, the first sight of him is his boots swinging out of the truck.
  • Insurance Fraud: The best solution the O'Dells can come up with to save their farm.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The accountant and Tommy take Eddie's body to a field and make his death look like an accident with his tractor.
  • No Name Given: For the accountant.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: The accountant drives away to his next job as an astonished Tommy watches him go.
  • The Reveal: Tommy and the accountant were in cahoots and the accountant's intention the whole time was to drive Eddie to suicide. And Tommy was the one who Eddie's wife had the affair with.
  • Shout-Out: Tommy amuses himself by doing an impression of Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade.
  • Your Cheating Heart: The accountant produces a receipt he found, showing that Eddie's wife bought some spermicidal jelly. Eddie got a vasectomy years ago.

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