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.
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.
Even though it might not be one of their best films, A Serious Man is definetely one of the funniest comedies directed by the Coen Brothers and one of the most continuously funny films of the past decade. Great writing featuring near-perfect dialogue, brilliant characterization & intelligent story that's so large in scope that ends up covering several themes and great direction by the American duo who leads the film with a wonderful pacing, A Serious Man is a simple delight. In the lead role, Michael Stuhlbarg is just excellent and delivers one of his best performances in this wonderlly-realized dark comedy that's supported by a clever cinematography and by a brilliant score.
It’s so funny, because it’s true. And only the Coens can get away with stopping a story at any random point they want.
Ends with a flagrant and unmotivated truncation. Also, the dybbuk opening isn't integrated with the rest of the film (a non sequitur at work).
Absurd and extremely well-acted. Will make you laugh and then feel incredibly weird for laughing. The ending will leave you staring at the screen like a bug-eyed, landlocked fish.
Lawrence is so much like what I don't want to become, and it's so well done.
#33 in my collection rewatch.
My comment on this film:
"Elusively brilliant and beautifully shot, this is my second favorite film of all time. I realize it's an unusual choice for anyone's favorite Coen film, but I love it. It's got one heck of a script, and oh so many excellent scenes. It's at once tremendously serious and terrifically hilarious. Michael Stuhlbarg's performance is perfection, as is Fred Melamed's. Oh, and that Goy's Teeth scene? One of my favorite scenes in film history."
When I first watched A Serious Man (in theaters), I was in a job with an asshole boss but fantastic coworkers and no other job prospects because of a sunk economy (though it did relieve traffic woes), I was getting over my first Real Relationship breakup, and was sinking into a state of depressive stagnancy.
To say it was the perfect movie at the perfect time for me might be an understatement. Was that timing fate? Or was it just good luck? Does that even matter? these are the questions that A Serious Man grapples with. It's a battle that's meant to be lost but something learned in the fight.
Beginning with a Jewish fable of a husband who invites…
Nota = 6,5
To me, this film is so Coen Bros. while at the same time being something completely new from them and it was great. I fit this film in tightly with some of their other films and I sadly think people don't talk about it enough. Maybe I haven't been talking to the right people but if you love the Coens I hope if we talked you'd mention this as it is truly great.
I have to say that I've never seen a film where I've wholeheartedly agreed with the stance it takes on it's subjects at hand. Everything this film talks about and says about each concept is spot on to how I feel. Unfortunately for me, I think it just shows how flat out cynical I am.
What makes this film so special isn't the performances or how well shot it is, but, as I said, it's the film's subject matter that The film deals with such topics as faith, the meaning of life and karma. Though it looks at these themes in such a pessimistic light, A Serious Man talks about each idea as honestly and insightfully as possible with rich…
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).