A Serious Man by Joel CoenIt is 1967 and Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith that she is leaving him since she has fallen in love with one of his more pompous colleagues. His domestic woes accumulate: his unemployable brother Larry is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny is playing hooky from Hebrew school, and his daughter is sneaking money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job.
Also, a graduate student seems to be trying to bribe him for a passing grade while at the same time threatening to sue him for defamation, thus putting in jeopardy Larrys chances for tenure at the university. As if all this wasnt enough, he is tormented by the sight of his beautiful next door neighbor sunbathing nude.
Larrys search for some kind of equilibrium is conveyed with the kind of humor, imagination, and verbal wit that have made the work of Ethan and Joel Coen so distinctive.
A Serious Man
Vikram Murthi. When the wife tells her husband that Groshkover died three years earlier, she assumes that the man he invited over is a dybbuk, an evil, malevolent spirit that has possessed the body of a living person. The husband believe that he and his wife are ruined because they will be charged with murder; on the other hand, the wife believes they have rid their house of evil. He valiantly tries to suss out an answer or an explanation for his troubles, but comes up short every time, partially because he keeps trying to understand. Is The Mentaculus a work of genius or the ramblings of a lunatic? Many critics argue the Coens take cruel pleasure in watching Larry flounder in despair, but if anything, the pleasure comes from recognition at the daily absurdities that fill our lives. Larry gets into a car accident and then later receives a maddening call from the Columbia record club asking him for money.
Good people suffer, bad people succeed, and what is even up with Ed Sheeran? A Serious Man tells the story of Larry Gopnik Michael Stuhlbarg in supreme form , a mild-mannered Midwestern Jewish professor whose boring life is upended by a series of seemingly random misfortunes. Many critics have suggested that A Serious Man is a retelling of the Biblical story of Job, where God and Satan make a bet on whether the devout Job will keep his faith in the face of an unending stream of misery. He gets into a minor car accident at the same time his rival gets in a fatal one. Larry seeks answers from above for his plight. When Larry presses him for answers, the Rabbi just shrugs. Why even tell me the story?
A Serious Man is a black comedy-drama film  written, produced, edited and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Set in ,  the film stars Michael Stuhlbarg as a Minnesota Jewish man whose life crumbles both professionally and personally, leading him to questions about his faith. In a prologue, a Jewish man in an unnamed 19th-century Eastern European shtetl tells his wife that he was helped on his way home by Reb Groshkover, whom he has invited in for soup. She says Groshkover is dead and the man he invited must be a dybbuk. Groshkover arrives and laughs off the accusation, but she plunges an ice pick into his chest. Bleeding, he exits their home into the snowy night. In , Larry Gopnik is a professor of physics living in St.
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J oel and Ethan Coen have bookended the decade with a superb film at the very beginning, The Man Who Wasn't There , and another two stormers at the end: their superlative adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men in — and now this sublimely funny, involving, utterly distinctive serio-comedy of mid-life crisis set in the American midwest in the s, which happens to be where and when the Coen brothers themselves were brought up. The Broadway actor Michael Stuhlbarg gets his big-screen break playing Larry Gopnik, a professor of theoretical physics whose life reaches a menopausal climacteric in mysterious tandem with his son's approaching barmitzvah and the astonishing announcement from his wife Sari Lennick that their marriage is over. She now wishes to divorce and to marry their supercilious acquaintance Sy Ableman, a smug and mellifluous widower played by Fred Melamed. Larry's life becomes unmoored, and in his desperation this not-particularly-religious man becomes convinced that only the local senior rabbi can help him: a very elderly man who has retreated largely into gnomic silence. The movie convincingly brings us into Larry's spacey state, somewhere between shock and trance, and brilliantly suggests that he is on the verge not of a breakdown — nothing so banal — but rather an epiphany, a vision of how he has erred, how he has lived, and what the essence of his life should be as an observant Jew, a righteous person and a serious man. This state of enlightenment, if any such can exist, is still impeded by the bizarre wreckage of his life: a malign neighbour, a malcontent student, a dangerously sexy neighbour who sunbathes naked, and his useless, unemployed brother Arthur, played by Richard Kind, working on his private work of kabbalistic mathematical philosophy.
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We learn from the Book of Job: Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Such a man is Larry Gopnik. He lectures on physics in front of a blackboard filled with bewildering equations that are mathematical proofs approaching certainty, and in his own life, what can be sure of? Nothing, that's what. His wife is leaving him for his best friend. His son is listening to rock 'n' roll in Hebrew school.