Nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, written by the winners of best Screenplay for Fargo and directed by those same guys that won for Best achievement in Directing and Best Picture in 2007 for No Country for Old Men, one of the best films of the last decade. The Coen brothers are making uncommon genre films since their first film; Blood Simple (1984). They have their lots of success Fargo, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink, O' Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, and they have their share of flaws too The Hudsucker Proxy, Intolerable Cruelty (for the audience), The Ladykillers, The Man Who Wasn't There, and maybe Burn After Reading. In the case of A Serious Man to me it felt in the second category. I didn't had any expectations because I haven't read any reviews of it and I wanted to have my own idea on this one.
This is the story of a Jewish family in the 1960's where a teacher of mathematics, Larry Gopnik has his life splatting everywhere, his wife wants a divorce, his daughter his stealing from him, his son is gonna have his Bar Mitzvah but he only thinks of being stone, his brother is sick physically and mentally... Well, the events surpasses him and he doesn't know how to handle them. Anyway, even with all these misfortunes the Coen brothers couldn't made me care for poor Larry.
Visually its nothing like what the Coens presented to us before, it's all about grey and dull colors everywhere. It illustrate well how the story feels. On the other hand, the editing is very dynamic and helps the scenes to the wonderful script. A Serious Man is not a complete failure, the story has rich lines and the events fell in the right place. I just think that the story could have been more structured on supporting characters that are more accessories to the story than involved in it. It would have made the film more viewable, 'cause it's a very cold film.
I really enjoy the best of what the Coens have offered but I think A Serious Man is a personnal film for them and it doesn't has the deep inspiration they often bring to their better films with their dark humour and violent turnovers...
A Film Review by Michaël Parent