Movies that are slightly off.
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…
Moral of the story: God doesn't exist and He hates you.
"You'll find you need the iced tea."
''Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you.''
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…
Oh my god. They said it was a dark comedy. This is bump into walls, stub your toe dark. A great story, but my empathy towards the main character was too great for me to enjoy this film. I am glad I saw it, but have no plans to revisit.
Nothing makes sense now, and it probably won't make sense later.
The beginning of this film was a bit strange. However, the film as a whole was worth watching.
"What's going on?"
"I didn't do anything!"
Every action has consequences, as Larry Gopnik well knows, and yet - despite this knowledge - he appears incapable of grasping that the same is true for his years of passive inaction.
As a series of inconveniences and emotional tribulations pile up, Larry looks outward in order to understand that which is happening to him, all the while refusing to take any kind of measurable stand against anything - he doesn't fight to keep his home, he doesn't cut his losses over a generally unimportant territory issue, and he doesn't refuse to pay for a funeral it is unreasonable for him to be charged for.
But, when he does take a stand and decides to change a South Korean student's grade from a fail to a pass, nothing happens, anyway. Because nothing matters. Life can't be understood.
There is no God, and he doesn't give a shit if you understand anything.
This is the Coens trying to be cerebral and obtuse like they were with Barton Fink but falling sadly short of that films points and structure. A Serious Man seems like an incredibly personal film, much like Barton did, with the director duo no doubt drawing from their own jewish heritage heavily for this portrayal of an average man's personal domestic hell. As the anomaly in the Coen filmography that does nothing obvious to stand out or entice you into watching it, A Serious Man is a woefully dull and meandering dramedy that portends to higher meaning but never quite reaches. I left this film not quite knowing why the Coens felt compelled to tell THIS story over the many…
A beautiful nihilistic comedy.
The black comedy stemming from the seemingly meaningless nature of life was brilliant. The parable of the second rabbi may be one of my favourite film moments of all time.
Michael Stuhlbarg is excellent. All of the signature elements of a Coen Brothers film are here. Highly recommended if you like their other comedies.
Hmm....Larry Gopnik was not having a good time, I think. How many things can go wrong in a person's life? At once? Bathroom that is always occupied, wife walking out, hot neighbour sunbathing, not-so hot neighbour hunting, odd rabbies and..... overall just...odd. not bad but.. odd. I guess they did not make the Book of Job out of thin air.
my personal favorite coen bros film
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…