movies: A Serious Man

January 8, 2010

A Serious Man is the latest movie written and directed by the Coen brothers and I can best described as “Classic Coen Brothers”.  If you forget their more recent “The Ladykillers”, “No Country for Old Men” and “Burn After Reading” (which were good) and think more of “Barton Fink”, “The Hudsucker Proxy” (which is on Dave tomorrow) and “The Big Lebowski” then you have a better idea of this movie.  If anything it reminded me most of “Barton Fink” as it follows the main protagonist as various things mostly out with his control just happen to him.

There is very little point in describing the plot as the sheer number of strange things that happen to Larry but basically none of them are very good.  He is Jewish and there are a lot of questions of faith in this that actually reminded me of Job – so much is gradually falling apart that he doesn’t really know how to react or what to do so turns to the Rabbi (or a series of Rabbis).  However, this isn’t a depressing story (like Job can be) as Larry doesn’t really get a chance to address any of the issues before something else happens to him.

There are lots of fantastic moments in this, lots of quiet slightly nervous laughter at the GFT rather than ‘belly laughs’.  But the ending is really, really odd – unexpected and I’m still not sure what I think about it.

Which brings me to the other thing I like about this sort of film in general.  It isn’t just about going to watch a movie but this leave you with so many thoughts, opinions and questions that you keep thinking it through for hours or days later.  You really get your moneys worth from the Coen Brothers.