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.
Visually appealing but not much else.
Every other aspect is a mess, jumbled up scenes that serve no real purpose except to perhaps be amusing? Which I didn't find them to be.
Na face da ignorância de saber o motivo pelo qual as coisas acontecem com você ou por você, aceite o mistério.
"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. Although you will be responsible for this on the mid-term."
I can't count the times I've watched this (numerous times on Argentinean television - it's irresistible) and it remains one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. It's more than that too, but just thinking of some of the performances and line readings can get me cracking up even now.
''I haven't done anything..''
I have, on many occasions, discussed the meanings and theories I myself have formed in the two years since I first sat down and watched A Serious Man. I have spoken to University scholars and lecturers who specialise in American and Jewish literature and well as film. I have often had a beer with friends and spent hours discussing the most minute of details this film poses and I have written articles and essays just trying to comprehend, not only the mastery with which the Coen brothers sculpted A Serious Man, but what any of it might means. All I've ever found was the self-realisation that I was on a journey, an exploration for meaning and…
This movie is hilarious
Cartoonish, dreamlike, gripping but typically pointless Coen brothers film. Watched first half hour via subtitles thanks to a dodgy Menorcan dishwasher which maybe didn't help.
Approximately 65% of the movie went right over my head.
That's not a bad thing.
Or is it?
Best laugh in this film: "There's another Jew, son."
'A Serious Man' is very affecting, mysterious, bleak, impenetrable to a certain extent, somewhat unCoen (if thats a thing) and I'm pretty sure I haven't 'got it' yet. I find a lot of Joel and Ethan Coen's oeuvre to be very cerebral, and so I often need a lot of time to digest it. Thematically, it seems to cover a lot of that well-trodden contentment ground which, by the way, is becoming a very compelling reading (watching?) of their films. If we consider that correct, 'A Serious Man' is perhaps one of their best 'contentment' films.
Musically and technically, its gorgeous (what should we expect?). There’s haunting Yiddish songs, Jefferson Airplane’s…
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).