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.
I count on the Coens to take me some place unexpected and to rarely understand what is happening when we get there.
Narrative can be cathartic without epiphany. And though I have never been able to pull that off as a writer myself, I am very appreciative as a reader (or viewer).
Add to that fresh characters and rich settings in the service of cinematic storytelling, without the crutch of voiceover and titles and explanatory flashbacks, and you have something truly transporting.
One of the most enigmatic movies of the Coen Brothers, it's also an extremely funny and entertaning tale of a man searching not for God, but for answers. Check it out when you feel like there's no good or hope for this world anymore. You'll feel better, Coen style.
As Llewyn Davis is the cat, so is Larry Gopnik. Neither dead or alive, Gopnik's purgatorial sin comes from his complacency: I haven't done anything (he has not done anything wrong or right, he simply hasn't done anything), he protests, so why are all these bad things happening to me?
Gopnik, a man of numbers, searches incessantly for the answers to impossible questions. But as a man of numbers, he believes his search will yield something substantive, something tangible, something serious. Yet logical validity is not a form of truth and perhaps we're best just letting go, ceding to the mystery. In search for truths, our curiosity can.. well, you know: the cat.
The Coen brothers retell the story of Job, but set it during the 1950's and inject with their trademark sense of dark humor...
Full review located at:
Un hombre busca a Dios cuando su mundo se cae a pedazos y lo encuenta (?), descubre que lo ha abandonado(??), Dios es un tornado (???) Dios es un gato (???), Dios es el gato de Schrödinger (????). Solo los Cohen pueden hacer una comedia con un discurso tan denso.
Pd: Wolowitz es un rabino je je je
Recibe con humildad todo lo que te ocurra. Así iniciamos este viaje absurdo al mejor estilo de los hermanos los Coen. Un profesor de física excelentemente interpretado que vivencia esto que la vida tiene de incertidumbre y absurdo en la cotidianidad de sus relaciones. Un hombre que busca encontrar un sentido desconocido, externo y supremo como salida a esta incertidumbre, pero se topa con que el asunto está en el significado que le atribuimos a lo que ocurre, a veces eso nos devuelve la calma y en otras la embarramos. Lo mejor cuando creemos que esta nos en tierra firme queda el sabor de que se aproxima una nueva tormenta. El humor negro y la sátira terminan siendo colchones frente a las situaciones. Enorme el manejo visual, los sueños son tan cercanos a la realidad que no se logran identificar inmediatamente. La banda sonora, los perdonajes y la ambientación increíbles.
The antithesis to 'everything happens for a reason.' (that's vanity.) The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. And then a tornado comes or something. Chuck Berry was right: you never can tell.
¿los Coen han hecho algo malo alguna vez?
Ser um homem sério não significa ter respostas nem que estará livre do caos.
As vezes é melhor aceitar o mistério. E a tempestade que se aproxima. E, quem sabe, tirar algo de bom disso tudo. Se tiver essa oportunidade...
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).