Now I don’t know much about the Jewish faith and I’m not overly interested in Physics so Larry’s character didn’t exactly speak to me as loudly as it could have. I feel for the guy, I truly do, having your wife leave you sucks (and for your best friend no less) and add to that some “eccentric” neighbors, backstabbing co-workers and shameless students, and I’m surprised Larry didn’t go all FALLING DOWN on us. And then there’s Larry’s pathetic brother Arthur who’s as much a catalyst in this story as anything. I’d have snapped, killed his ass and buried him in the backyard, but that’s me.
I did enjoy the opening ten minute prologue set back in the day. Possession, evil spirits, curses (and whatever in hell a dybbuk is) are right up my alley, if only this film would have stayed on this path. Somewhere along the line this became a “black comedy”, and if by black comedy they meant your heart would have be ten shades of black to find this funny, then I might agree with you. There really isn’t much humor in Larry’s life, and a pledge to become less serious doesn’t up the ante. Now the score and visuals were incredibly calming at times, so much so that you could almost hear Larry’s inner turmoil and questions. Of course I thought he was enjoying the view a little too much on his roof when he was oogling his sunbathing neighbor. At least he got one break.
A SERIOUS MAN is an offbeat film that could very well put you in a dark place if you’re the kind of person who over-analyzes things or thinks too much. Thankfully I’m not one of those people so I was able to take it in stride. The ending, as well as the beginning I suppose are both there to be pondered and questioned and it’s clear that we’ll all have a different take on what we see. I don’t feel the punch was as hard as the Coens have hit in the past and I don’t feel the message is nearly as relevant or even as clear as I’d hoped for, but if you’re looking for a thought provoking drama this could be the film for you. At the very least, you too can oogle his neighbor.
Creating 1967: A look at how they made us believe it was the late sixties. Hey, the cars, the cloths, his TV antenna and those horned rim glasses all looked pretty legit to me. I’m convinced.
Hebrew and Yiddish for Goys: A two minute tutorial/explanation seminar with dictionary definitions of Hebrew and Yiddish terminology such as bar mitzvah. I thought everyone knew what a bar mitzvah was.
Previews: There are a handful of trailers as well reminding me I still have to watch SMOKING ACES 2.