Mar 30, 2010

A serious man, 2009

A serious man, 2009
Directors: The Cohen brothers (Ethan, Joel Cohen)

Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick

Serious man in short
: A black comedy drama centered on Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel through multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking for meaning and answers he seems to stay stalled.

Stage: home theatre
Preps: none in perticular, just came on its row one day. And I knew it was a Cohen thing, plus I was in the ironic mood. I figured it might be a good thing to see.

Reality: At least half of the movie is brilliant. The scenery, impossible scenes (like in some russian hard novels), especially in some dialogues, when the vanity comes out like pouring rain.
The professor Larry is somehow a puppet in his own life, watching it happen while he cannot do anything about it. A poor character, yet brilliant act from Michael Stuhlbarg. Cohen brothers really put the best performance for him on stage and the stage is really his own life. It reminds me in some way on The Truman show (in a sense that you firstly seem gullible, then it turns out that things are happening without your real influence on them).

You will love the first scene, if you like black comedies. Old german (barely recognizable in understandable way) and just the scene, that you cannot put anywhere else in the movie (you don't realize why even bother with the first scene up to the end of the movie).

One of the best scenes in my opinion (arguing about a bribe Larry got to give a student a better grade):

Larry Gopnik: We had, I think, a good talk, the other day, but you left something that...
Clive Park: I didn't leave it.
Larry Gopnik: Well - you don't even know what I was going to say.
Clive Park: I didn't leave anything. I'm not missing anything. I know where everything is.
Larry Gopnik: Well... then, Clive, where did this come from? This is here, isn't it?
Clive Park: Yes, sir. That is there.
Larry Gopnik: This is not nothing, this is something.
Clive Park: Yes sir. That is something.

My personal rating: 7,0 (a good black comedy, however, be in the mood for black humour, otherwise you might find it depressing)

Serious man on IMDB
Official site

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