A Serious Man

Perhaps the Coen Brothers at their least accessible, as evidenced by a number of confused looking walk-outs, A Serious Man is, nevertheless, a superb meditation on the uselessness of religion.

A Serious Man can frustrate by appearing to go nowhere, just like the parables its weak willed protagonist is offered, and ends on a moment of the highest drama that would normally mark a Hollywood blockbuster’s beginning.

The protagonist, a mathematics professor, is a man whose life is defined by the certainty he finds in his work and the comfort he receives from his faith. When he suddenly finds his life floundering, he naturally turns to the latter for answers and becomes obsessed with the idea that if only he could get a few minutes with the chief rabbi, answers would be revealed to him. We viewers, with our God’s eye view, know better.

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