Michael Stuhlbarg finds himself between an immigrant (do the Coens have a thing about Asians?) and a suspicious goy in A Serious Man. Below, he tries to absorb the essence of the historical moment.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
In Brief: A SERIOUS MAN (2009)
"Even though you can't figure it out, you'll still be responsible for it on the midterm!" That's Prof. Lawrence Gopnik closing a class on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in the middle of a midlife meltdown in the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen. This one has something to do with fables, and it's a kind of fable itself. As his wife leaves him and he lusts after a nude-sunbathing neighbor, as a student tries to bribe him into improving a midterm grade, as a neighbor's boat house encroaches on the property line, as his mad-genius brother gets into ever deeper legal trouble, as the Columbia Record Club calls him repeatedly over unpaid bills on albums he didn't know he was buying, Larry desperately seeks meaning in events. He yearns for a story that will explain things for him, as many people yearned in 1967.