A Serious Man (Ethan and Joel Coen – 2009) A-

I am sure there is a lot I am missing in this one, but I found it fascinating all the same. It’s a very “Jewish” movie I suppose and revolves around one man’s world falling apart and his search for sense among the chaos. Larry afterall is a reasonable, serious Physics professor. So, to him events in his life (his wife leaving him, being bribed, his brother problems,…) need to make sense. They need to have a cause. One visit after another to rabbis only lead to more confusion (“Look at that parking lot, Larry”) and just accepting that things just happen for no good reason is not something that Larry is willing to accept. His attitude can be summed up by the line he kept repeating to the service rep from the Columbia record club, “But I did not do anything!”. When Larry does something at the end of the film bad stuff really start to happen. This is a very philosophical film told from a jewish point of view. As with all of the Coen’s films, it’s got a great look (early 70s) and a dialogue that is sharp and smart.

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