Oct 10, 2009

A Serious Man: the Coens worst movie

A Serious Man is clever, precise, beautifully shot and joyless: I don't think I've ever enjoyed a Coen brother movies less. At times its a bit like they've sat down and made a top-ten list of universally acknowledged irritants — bickering couples, people slurping their soup, a stuck record going round and round, whining children, repetitive blows to the head — and put them all in one movie. The only thing they miss is someone eating icecubes and nails down a blackboard. It's one of their playing-God numbers, like Barton Fink, in which they pile a host of misfortunes upon one hapless protagonist. Fink, though, had sizzling performances from John Goodman, Judy Davis and Michael Lerner. The Coens have assembled a similarly impressive gang of characters actors this time around — Richard Kind, Michael Stuhlberg, Fred Melamed — but allowed none of them off the leash, every cough and splutter playing out into oodles of silence. Critics are falling over themeslves to proclaim it the Coens most "autobiographical" film — its set in the suburban-jewish milieu of their youth — but the whole thing felt like it was shot in a vacuum. I came alive very briefly for Fred Melamed's performance as a cuckolder who oozes new-age let's-all-talk-about-our-feelings insincerity, but then went back to sleep — not sleep, actually, because when you sleep you dream: more like a kind of grey, reactionless coma. If you'd been monitoring my brain activity you would have sworn I was licking stamps, or filling out an insurance claim.

It got 79% on Metacritic and 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. Someone's not doing their job.

5 comments:

  1. This was a horrible movie, I'm ashamed that I actually watched it to the end (if you can call that an ending).

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  2. I agree worst ending ever. I had so much hope.

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  3. Great movie, great ending.

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  4. If aliens arrived on Earth planning to eradicate us all and we asked a collective, "Why?" All they would need to do is point to the Coen brothers' movie, "A Serious Man" and we'd have to say, "You guys have a point."

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