DVD: A Serious Man

By admin
27 October 2010

Black comedy. 2009. 101 min. With Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Wolff,

Sari Lennick and Richard Kind. Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen. 13LD.

Rating: 4/5

Nobody does black comedy like the Coen brothers (Fargo; The Big Lebowski; O Brother, Where Art Thou) and here they’re at their wicked, stylish best. It’s also their most Jewish film yet, set entirely within a Jewish community in America’s Midwest in 1967.

Physics professor Larry Gopnik (Stuhlbarg) is looking forward to his son’s (Wolff) bar mitzvah andapromotion at work when his life falls apart: his wife (Lennick) announces she’s leaving him for another man and kicks him out of the

house, a student tries to blackmail him for better marks and his unemployed brother (Kind) gets him in trouble with the law.

Why is all this happening to him? Facingamajor existential crisis he smokes dope with his sexy neighbour and seeks answers from rabbiswhospeak in riddles.

Kicking off with a (made-up) mystifying Jewish folktale this is a roller-coaster ride through life’s Big Questions to an ending that will leave you reeling. And with the Coens’ masterful direction, faultless performances, a spot-on recreation of ‘60s suburbia and a brilliant script it’s one funny, tragic, unforgettable ride.

Bonus: featurettes.

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