The latest work from the Coen brothers is a lot more like Fargo and a lot less like No Country For Old Men. It’s a grass-roots story set in a Jewish community in suburban Minnesota in the late 1960s. The Serious Man in the title seems like a normal, typical, nice guys whose world starts crashing down around him. This is a story of faith as much as anything else. Despite the compounding problems of the main character he keeps true to his Jewish beliefs and even though easy outs are readily available he still strives to do the right thing. But this loveable looser just can’t catch a break (in true Coen brothers fashion).
I think this film will appeal to die hard Coen brothers fans and the Jewish community. Otherwise I think it’s a little too far off the mark for mainstream audiences. If people were pissed with the ending of No Country For Old Men, then they’ll really feel cheated with the abrupt, Sopranos-esk cut to black of A Serious Man.
Derek’s grade: C