REVIEW: A Serious Man

27 11 2009

The Coen Brothers have been entertaining audiences with their off-beat filmmaking techniques for many years now.  In “A Serious Man,” their artistry shines bright as they lead you through a miserable string of luck in the life of Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg).  It is easy to get lost in their style while they present these events that are undeniably captivating.  Knowing that they are Oscar-winning directors and screenwriters lends a sense of confidence that they know what they are doing.  But when the dust settles and the film cuts to black, I couldn’t help but sigh, “Huh?” with a great deal of dissatisfaction.

As I walked out of the theater, the worst feeling was looming over me – not only did I not know what the filmmakers wanted me to take from the movie, I had absolutely no idea what I had just watched other than a life being ripped apart at the seams.  This is tough for anyone to feel, but I am a critic of sorts.  I couldn’t help trembling at what my readers would think if I couldn’t understand it.  “What a philistine, that Marshall, can’t even appreciate simple art,” I thought you might say.

But I’m going to imagine this as “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” because I used lifelines so I could report to you something other than my confusion.  With the help of Google and a friend’s mother, I was able to decode some of the movie.
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