A Serious Man

A Serious Man

Blu-ray Disc - 2010
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One ordinary man's quest to become a serious man. Physics professor Larry Gopnik can't believe his life, his wife is leaving him for his best friend, his unemployed brother won't move off the couch, someone is threatening his career, his kids are a mystery and his neighbor is tormenting him by sunbathing nude. Struggling to make sense of it all, Larry consults three different rabbis and their answers lead him on a twisted journey of faith, family, delinquent behavior, and mortality.

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n
ninanna
Aug 30, 2020

I don't particularly like Coen Brothers movies, but this one is incredibly good and definitely worth watching. The opening scene that takes place in a Jewish XIXth Century village is hilarious. It is done in Yiddish in classic traditions of the Jewish theatre, and is a perfect illustration to the Uncertainty Principle.

d
dmasterson
Apr 09, 2020

One of the strongest and most understated Coen Brother's films. A darkly hilarious comedy about a man struggling to find meaning as his world falls apart.

j
JudyJetson3000
Aug 21, 2019

Based on the story of Job, but so much more. The happy man is the man who doesn't drive himself crazy asking impossible questions.

LPL_KevinC Oct 29, 2018

A Serious Man can't quite contend with the Coen Brothers' finest movies, but it's still worth watching a few times if you're in a misanthropic mood. Michael Stuhlbarg turns in a great performance as Larry Gopnik, a middle American who grows evermore perplexed by the simultaneous misfortunes he experiences with his family, religion, profession, and health. Despite the grim plot, there's still plenty to wryly laugh at.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Mar 06, 2018

Mildly entertaining... Really, it was ok, but not worth the time it took to watch it...It seemed like just a waste of time and actor's talents

m
mr_chocolate
Mar 06, 2018

I have liked and enjoyed many of Joel and Ethan Coen's films, but this is one that I did not. I found no interest in the characters, and I don't believe it was just because I am not Jewish, nor brought up under Judaism.
I found the film choppy and did not find much interest of this film, except for that the teacher had a moral decision to make about a student and found that the respected Rabbi had little to offer in his quest for the answers of his life unravelling before him.
I found this film to be slow and seemingly unrelated stories and events, with little meaning.

n
Nursebob
Feb 20, 2018

What do Schroedinger’s Cat, Jefferson Airplane, and the sufferings of Job have in common? Quite a lot, at least in this wonderfully surreal, Oscar-nominated parable from the Coen brothers. Relocating the biblical epic to a middle class Jewish neighbourhood in 1967 Minnesota (the kitschy touches are perfect!) the Coens’ film revolves around Larry Gopnik, a mild-mannered physics professor who suddenly finds his comfortable existence turned upside-down when his wife demands a divorce, his tenure at the university is put into question, and infernal temptation arrives in the form of a Korean exchange student willing to pay for a passing grade. With his world imploding and a trio of comical rabbis unable to offer any useful counsel, Larry eventually finds himself balanced on the edge of a crushing moral dilemma—and like Schroedinger’s mystical cat the universe can go either way… Although steeped in Judaic folklore and idiosyncrasies (an 18th century Yiddish prologue sets the tone) there is ample spiritual and secular crossover to allow the average goy to follow along and the Coens inject enough deadpan humour, including fanciful dream sequences, to keep the laughs going—a stoned bar-mitzvah is worth a rewind. But an answer to the central question of how a just and loving god can allow evil and suffering to exist remains appropriately opaque. A great cast balances gravity and satire while a plethora of divine metaphors ranging from TV antennas and whirlwinds to Grace Slick’s apocalyptic voice keep things just this side of suburban fantasy.

e
erinsnest
Apr 27, 2017

Well, I didn't get it. I laughed once when they ran across the parking lot of the motel in their underwear. Not too sure why? (Why I laughed, that is.) Not sure why I ordered this movie either! You win some, you lose some.

j
JudithRJames
Mar 17, 2017

Possibly the worse movie I've seen. As it drearily drags on, it certainly doesn't touch my concept of humor.

r
robt1212
Oct 15, 2016

Real to life story with a Hebrew setting. Could've been Catholic or Protestant, kids are kids, people are people. Another fine effort from the Brothers.

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m
MichelleinBallard
Aug 10, 2020

Larry Gopnik: "And what happened to the goy?"

Rabbi Nachtner: "The goy? Who cares?"

d
dmasterson
Apr 09, 2020

"I'm a serious man, Larry."

d
dmasterson
Apr 09, 2020

"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."

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2016

Interpretation of the fable and others:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_oscars/2010/03/whats_going_on.2.html

j
jimg2000
Feb 08, 2016

Glossary:

http://www.focusfeatures.com/article/a_serious_man__a_glossary

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