Very Seriousby Luke Mason / 14.05.2010
“When the truth is found to be lies and all the joy within you dies, don’t you want somebody to love?” – Jefferson Airplane.
The Coen brother’s latest film, A Serious Man, is a story about the customs of Judaism as mediated by the amoralities of modernity and the American Dream. Set in the suburban 60’s, it’s world is a chocolate box full of delectably painted cardboard, where hiding on the second tier – next to a plastic Turkish Delight and chocolate covered polystyrene nut – a deliciously elusive truth lies waiting to be tasted. We follow the seemingly ordinary life of Larry Gopnik, a physics lecturer and a family man, as his principles and processed postcard plans begin to unravel under a barrage of wonderfully left-field, real life fuck-ups. This movie is a breath of fresh air in time where good pieces of cinema are few and far between, and thus I don’t want to give anything more away. What I can say is that it’s wonderfully non-linear plot, cuttingly witty script, beautiful cinematography and equally well-acted and superbly textured characters make it a film not to be missed. It provides a humorous look below the plastic coating of preened appearance, asking all the right questions and leaving the answers right where they have always been; in the realm of the unknowable.
I enjoyed this film immensely and would recommend it to anyone with two brain cells to rub together (oh ja, and to Jews).