a subverted dreamy imaginary-past suburban Americana setting, a series of set pieces and sketches that skitter across a range of topics and setting - centred on a man's life falling apart. It's just gorgeous to watch, hilarious, imaginative and surprising, rambling yet taught. It's certainly not all understandable or conclusive. Like life, eh? Interesting Jewish ethnic background also is thematic: fate & Job's tale.
An odd, and also oddly compelling, film from the Coen brothers, this is all about a man (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) who seems to be unable to stop his life from falling to pieces. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot find answers to the many problems that are starting to weigh hiim down. Which, as you might expect from the Coens, also leads to some twisted comedy.
I'm not as huge a Coens fan as most people seem to be, and this film is very *them*: In other words it's somewhat empty, twitchy, understated, strangely unemotional, mildly amusing. I don't mean to damn them with faint praise, I just don't 'get' them in the same way other folks seem to. My deficiency perhaps, not theirs. Still, I watched this. It was beautifully put together of course, just, all of the above.
A very personal, nihilistic, idiosyncratic concept, the life of Job exploited to the summum with the cadence of a drip and the endurance of diamonds. A Serious Man is a very particular and intimate reflection that lacks broad appeal in its subject matter, its dry and subdued humour not enough to counteract the heaviness of its metaphysics.
Bad luck is only something that happens to other people. Me? I'm cursed. Much like their last film, No Country For Old Men, "existential malaise" is the central theme here. However, rather than open expanse of New Mexico we now have middle american suburbia; And moving the story to a more intimate setting has only brought focus to the proceedings. Expect po-faced irony. And lots of it!
Face à l'incertitude permanente de la vie, que peuvent faire le sérieux et la logique ? Pas grand chose, d'après les frères Coen... qui ont rarement aussi bien mixé la comédie, le drame et la réflexion existentielle. L'habileté avec laquelle ils illustrent - de plusieurs façons - le fameux paradoxe du chat de Schrödinger est étonnante, tout comme l'indécision inconfortable de la conclusion. "Acceptez le mystère"...