Monday, November 02, 2009

I am a serious man.

The Coen Brothers, those masters of filmmaking and virtuosos of human pain, offer up a mid-60s, set-in-Minnesota, Jewish story of Job, that much put-upon Biblical hero. Larry Gopnik, played wonderfully by stage actor Michael Stuhlbarg, is a fairly boring, middle-aged physics professor. His wife wants to divorce him to marry a family friend, his daughter is obsessed with her hair, and his son--while preparing for his bar mitzvah--owes a local bully $20 for pot. Add in a brother with a sebaceous cyst, a quest for tenure, a nude neighbor, a bribing Korean student, some magic teeth, and three rabbis, and you have a small approximation of a very odd and wonderful film.

A Serious Man is not really a comedy, though it is very funny. It is not really a parable, though it does have lots to say. It is not really a religious movie, though religion plays a key role. What can I say--A Serious Man is a Coen Brothers film. Seemingly random actions and events have major philosophical importance. Crazy things happen. New paths appear mid-film.

I really did not know what to expect going in to this film. And that is why I love the Coen Brothers.

A Serious Man is a serious film filled with brilliant acting, hilarious nonsense, thought-provoking images (thanks to the always amazing cinematography of Roger Deakins), and dybbuks.

I've been thinking about it and what it means since I left the theater yesterday.


At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Alan posited...

I really liked this movie. I thought it was really funny.


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