Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Screenplay)
Starring: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff, Jessica McManus
Plot: Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking.
Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Coen Brothers Middle Ground
Story: A Serious Man starts as we meet college professor Larry Gopnik (Stuhlbarg) whose family life seems to get swept out from under him by his wife Judith (Lennick) wants to leave him and run off with family friend Sy (Melamed). Needing guidance Larry searches for answers in Rabbis and as more obstacles get thrown in his way the more frustrated he gets as he isn’t getting the answers he is searching for.
Thoughts on A Serious Man
Characters – Larry Gopnik is a college professor, happily married with two teenage children. His life unfolds when his wife wants to leave him and he must find the answers to his life through religion and accept the changes which come around. Uncle Arthur lives with the family and has an air of mystery about him and his genius. Sy Ableman is the family friend that wants to marry Judith, he is a serious man that believes he knows everything.
Performances – Michael Stuhlbarg is fantastic in this leading role where he appears to be able to adapt to every situation his character finds himself in. Richard Kind shows he comedy timing in this role without being crazy over the top. Fred Melamed is good in his role too.
Story – The story follows one man as his life starts to unfold on front of him, be it his children getting in trouble or his wife wanting to leave him and the pressure of his job getting to him. It shows how life can change suddenly especially if you thought it was going well at one moment. It does play into mid-life crisis territory too and is told in typical Coen brother style.
Comedy – The comedy works in typical Coen Brothers levels and if you didn’t know they directed this you would work it out because of the comedy.
Settings – The settings bring us to a small town America as we follow the everyday family where things start to go wrong.
Final Thoughts – This is a solid Coen brothers comedy that lacks the most important part, an ending as too much is left to us to decide what we want to happen.
Overall: Collapses in the end.