Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A Serious Man
A Serious Man is the story of an ordinary man's search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F-Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous acquaintances Sy Ableman.
like what the fuck, this film is everything
Why does he make us feel the questions if he's not gonna give us any answers?
He hasn't told me.
Unpopular opinion incoming! ‘A Serious Man’ is one of my favourite Coen’s and I would actually call it more likeable than ‘No Country for Old Men’. I love how their trademark edgy dialogues greatly blend into the much smaller and amateurish setting of the film, just like in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’. It creates an intelligent comedy, which I think hits the directors talents better than the western crime gems they’ve created. Not often do I laugh out loud when watching a film, so honour where honour’s due, ‘A Serious Man’ deserves its four stars.
Fiddling with the aerial doesn't always make the signal more clear. The cat is both dead and not dead (Clive understands the dead cat, but not the math). The man in the prologue is or isn't a dybbuk. The bookends suggest an unbroken cycle that may or may not relate to what characters have and haven't done. "Accept the mystery."
Rabbi Nachtner: "We can't know everything."
Larry Gopnik: "It sounds like you don't know anything! Why even tell me this story?"
Nachtner: [laughing]"First I should tell you, then I shouldn't, hoo!" [places hands on cheeks]
Gopnick to dream class: "Even though you can't figure anything out, you will be responsible for it on the mid-term."
The Uncertainty Principle. It proves we can't ever really know... what's going on. So it shouldn't bother you. Not being able to figure anything out.
After seeing the brilliant Llewyn Davis, I have decided to work backwards through the Coen Bros filmography hitting every single forgotten gem or under appreciated masterpiece. Im doing this because my gut tells me that if Llewyn Davis doesn't see a second life on home video, it will sadly join the ranks of those other Coen films that have sunk below the radar.
The first stop on this tour through the Coen Brothers dark fairy tale universe is 2009's A Serious Man. Set in a predominantly Jewish suburb in the early 60's, (a setting very…
"Accept the mystery"
Another great one from the Coens that I'd been meaning to rewatch for a long time. It contains all the elements that the two directors often couple together to make their films so remarkable - a great lead performance, beautiful cinematography, a biting and terrific screenplay, and a uniquely established tone. However, the main aspect that sets A Serious Man apart is its supremely Jewish setting. Despite being familiar, the film is triumphantly unique and interesting.
On this watch, I kind of noticed a lot of similarities to Barton Fink, with it's offbeat nature and awkward male lead who's life is going in bad places. Both are probably the Coens most ambiguous films, with lots left up to interpretation. There is a lot of symbolism and depth here, it'd be interesting to see, or possibly write a full blown analysis.
It's also darkly hilarious. Poor Larry.
The question most people seem to have about A Serious Man, judging by the reviews I've read, is "What's it actually about?"
A lot of the time I don't think it matters what a film is about. I often find myself going round in circles trying to get to the bottom of this subject and losing sight of whether I enjoyed the film or not. Actually, I have this problem more when it IS a film I enjoyed. If it's a film I hated then I'm not going to waste my time trying to figure out what was going on with it. It can just piss off.
There's so much to be said about this movie but it's so hard to put it into words. I suppose that could be said about just about anything directors Joel and Ethan Coen have done. But A Serious Man is by far their most personal and psychological film. It's the story of a man, Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), whose life is unravelling right before his eyes. His wife (Sari Lennick) is leaving him for Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed), his kids (Aaron Wolff and Jessica McManus) are both unruly and distant, Uncle Arthur (Richard Kind) won't move out of the house and to top it all off, he's being bribed by one of his students (David Kang). He's stuck in a…
Contemplative study of internal religious conflict that is rewarding only to those who read between the lines and think. I'm equally confused and intrigued and I've been replaying individual scenes and quotes in my head since I watched this last night. This movie is very challenging
i fuckin lOVE THE COEN BROOOOOOOOOSSSSS this movie is SOO BANNGGGIIIIINNNNGGGG
The typical Coen combo of weighty, cerebral themes (chaos, tragedy, fortune, theology) delivered in an irreverent and bleakly comic fashion does wonders for this twisty portrait of a Jewish physics professor whose life gradually crumbles before the bemused audience's eyes.
Roger Deakin's cinematography is not even worth remarking upon, it's so damn pretty; it takes the nostalgia and suburban emptiness of Edward Hopper and turns it up to 11. I still firmly believe Deakins is the most cheated Oscar nominee-but-never-winner in history.
A cast of relative unknowns flesh out this bizarre family portrait in ways alternately relatable and infuriatingly unrecognisable, but the Coens know what they're doing the whole time, even if they insist on hiding it from their fans.
"It sounds like you don't know anything! Why even tell me this story!?"
"Why does he make us feel the questions if he won't give us the answers!?"
Indeed, Coen Bros, indeed.
What a great film. When it ended I thought "I'm a little bit confused". Then I realised, you're meant to be confused. The characters in the film are confused. The whole thing is about confusion. "Whats going on" is one of the most prevalent lines in the film, and a lot of the time I think the audience can relate with that.
A noticeable thing about Larry, the main character, is his acceptance of mediocracy. He's a perfectly nice guy, but he's also a bit too happy to drift along making little effort in life. A faithful husband but not a particularly intimate or involved one, a good professor but never of note ("I haven't done anything. I haven't published…
Still a fantastic, albeit, at times, somewhat frustrating, tale of faith and life set in a made-up Jewish community somewhere in Midwestern America. Despite the abundance of Jewishness throughout, this is still perfectly executed and always entertaining. Even for a goy.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A Serious Man is a modern interpretation of the story of Job. As such, A Serious Man is an incredibly dark film. Set in a 1960's Jewish community, we encounter Larry Gopnik right as his life is falling apart. His wife wants a "get". A what? A get! (Basically a ritual divorce.) She feels the marriage has been stagnant for a long time, and that she needs to move on. She's going to marry Sy Ableman! (Ugh... Sy Ableman?!) But a divorce means divorce lawyers which means money is going to be tight. Unfortunately, this comes at the same time that he's being bribed and/or blackmailed by a student from one of his classes (he's a physics professor at a…
The thing I love about the Coen Brothers is you're never quite sure what you're getting. Perhaps the lone exception is that there's almost always at least some degree of misanthropy to the logic of their films, and in this regard A Serious Man might very well take the cake. Its characters are punished seemingly indiscriminately, culminating in a truly brutal one-two punch of an ending.
Earlier this year I re-watched Inside Llewyn Davis, and had the great experience of it jumping from a film I was pretty lukewarm on first time around to one that I absolutely loved, saw a tonne of things in it that I didn't get on first watch, and I now think it's one of the Coens' best films - and given the quality of the competition, that's really saying something.
I was hoping the same thing would happen with A Serious Man - I felt similarly indifferent to it when I first watched it a few years back, but I know plenty of people who think it's basically a masterpiece, and is their own favourite Coen Brothers' movie.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Under the Skin
- Tropical Malady
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
- Inland Empire
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
- There Will Be Blood
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Mulholland Drive
- Children of Men
- No Country for Old Men
1. THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007) by Paul Thomas Anderson
IMDb: 8.1 | RT: 91% || Points: 2110 | Peak:…