February 14, 2010

A Serious Man - 2009

Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen
Writers: Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring: Michael Stuhlbarg, Sari Lennick, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Aaron Wolff, Jessica McManus

"The Uncertainty Principle. It proves we can't ever really know... what's going on." In the latest film from the famed Coen brothers, Larry Gopnick (Stuhlbarg) is a Midwestern, 1967 version of the Biblical character of Job, with countless levels of stress amounting from the troubles of his unfaithful wife (Lennick), his socially inept brother Arthur (Kind), a student threatening to sue him, and his son's (Wolff) upcoming bar mitzvah.

This is a great movie; don't get me wrong. It's absolutely remarkable in all aspects, and the two Oscar nominations are well-deserved. However, considering the duo's past work (Fargo, Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading), laughs in this film are relatively few and far between, so this might not be everyone's cup of tea. Also, the Coen's upbringing (mid-1960s Minnestoan and Jewish) runs much more strongly in this film than any of their others, and the supplemental feature "Hebrew and Yiddish for Goys" found on the DVD was of great help to me to fully appreciate the film, as I'm not fortunate enough to be one of the Chosen People. All that's left is to see what the Academy thinks of it come March.

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