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Billy Bob Thornton may have won an Oscar as screenwriter for the 1996 film “Sling Blade,” but that won’t help him recoup the quarter of a million dollars he lost on the $2.1 million sale of a modestly sized if hardly inexpensive house above Malibu’s Point Dume he bought just over a decade ago for $2.35 million. And that’s not counting carrying costs, improvement expenses and real estate fees. One of eight similarly sized but architecturally diverse houses on a gated cul-de-sac, the not quite 2,700-square-foot, smooth-stucco contemporary contains four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Arranged around a glass-railed stairwell that leads to lower-level bedrooms, open-plan living and dining spaces have ordinary beige-tile floors, vaulted ceilings, lots of windows and a minimalist fireplace. The marble-countered kitchen has sleekly fixtured powder-blue cabinetry, and glass sliders open the airy, sun-splashed space to a small terrace with an open if not particularly thrilling cross-canyon view. Sequestered on the lower level, two of the three guest bedrooms are joined by the master bedroom, where glass sliders lead to a slim balcony that hangs over the grassy, simply landscaped and awkward-to-access multilevel backyard.

Currently holding down the lead role in the Amazon legal drama “Goliath,” Thornton once owned an 11,000-square-foot mansion in the flats of Beverly Hills that he and his fifth ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, bought in 2001 from mononymic Guns N’ Roses rocker Slash. Thornton retained the property in their 2003 divorce and held onto it until early 2013, when it sold for $8 million. With his now sixth wife, Connie Angland, he decamped to a substantially smaller, East Coast traditional in the expensively arcadian Mandeville Canyon area near Brentwood, which he picked up for $2.7 million.

listing photos: Westside Estate Agency