A Serious Man
A Serious Man (2009)
Dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen
Once again, the Coens have confounded expectations; not because this is their allegedly most personal film (though if you’re expecting real humanist honesty, remember that this is still very much a Coen film). Rather, they have provided us easily their most abstract and hard to define film since Barton Fink. It does not reach the near impossible highs of that film, but flows much like a bizarre fever dream, playing with viewers’ emotions throughout. One thing’s certain though; like that film, and even into something like No Country For Old Men, it once again proves that the Coens are masters at sustained tension, no matter what genre they are playing into. This is undoubtedly a comedy, but much like, oh, an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it just raises your blood pressure watching it.
And the beginning and ending, well, just see the film and you’ll know… They haven’t been this ambiguous their whole career, trust me.
Now here’s the brilliant trailer. If you’ve seen it, watch it again. If you’ve seen the film, well, watch it again. It’s beautifully done.