The story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity when his life begins to come apart at the seams. Struggling for equilibrium, he seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person, a mensch, a serious man?
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A delight for pseuds wishing to engage in some normative constructivism (where a film pushes the spectator to imagine more or other than what they are seeing), allusions to David and Bathsheba, and arguably Job. And as for a satire on the idolatry of 'tenure' and the tragicomic plight of the modernist 'loser', it is a fascinating experience worthy of repeat viewing.
If the Coen Brothers are not religious, this film could have fooled me. I don't think I've seen a comedy, or even a drama, address really difficult theological questions (like the problem of pain) in such a satisfying way. The film absolutely refuses any easy answers and it should be commended for that. It's also funny and serious--which is not a small accomplishment.
Tied with Barton Fink & No Country as my fave Coens film. Stulbarg was great. One of the best pot scenes I've seen in a movie (great use of Jefferson Airplane's "Today". Roger Deakin's cinematography was gorgeous. I read somewhere else that this film is really "more Kafka then Book of Job" and I have to agree.
once again, i could see the brilliance, but couldn't get completely into it. YET. and i'm adding the word "yet", since, this is i thought a very first coen's film that will benefit more in repeat viewing. So many mysteries..even the ending, so unsettling and offers many possiblities
I enjoyed it very much, especially the way the Coens wove the dybbuk myth into the story. Really liked Danny and how Jefferson Airplane became an integral part of the story as well. There was more underneath the surface than you might think in this movie.