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A Serious Man 2009

The Academy Award-winning Coen Brothers direct this thought-provoking drama set in 1967 that centres around a Midwestern professor whose life begins to unravel when his wife sets out to leave him.

Starring:
Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind
Supporting actors Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff, Jessica McManus, Peter Breitmayer, Brent Braunschweig, David Kang, Benjamin Portnoe, Jack Swiler, Andrew S. Lentz, Jon Kaminski Jr., Ari Hoptman, Alan Mandell, Amy Landecker, George Wyner, Michael Tezla, Katherine Borowitz, Steve Park
Studio Focus Features
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
I will admit, like many other reviewers, have really struggled with some of the Coen Brothers recent output, with some few diamonds nestling in otherwise medicore (and sometimes poor) output. However, after really wanting to like this, I have to say, although it has some good points it is ultimately unsatisfying. I think it is important to point out, although darkly humerous this is not a comedy. What it does try to be I feel, is a film about the musings of life and how things can turn against someone and implode. Whether or not you like this film , I think, lies within whether or not that sounds like a good story to tell over almost two hours. For me, after an hour I had seen enough and it limped to an end. There are some moments of interest - the charachters though not always likeable are sometimes hugely entertaining, partcularly the 'other man' and the first rabi and there are some very dark and funny moments. Overall, a partial succesful but as I said before ultimately unsatisfying
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By Ramses on 19 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am an appreciative and admirative fan from the Coen Brothers' work, but this movie did not do it for me. I probably did not get it but I found it bland and boring. First time I feel this watching one of their movies.
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Format: DVD
This film came as a great relief to me... I was seriously convinced that my beloved Coens had lost it altogether. I hadn't really enjoyed one of their films since The Man Who Wasn't There; Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers, Burn After Reading and yes, even the lauded to the high heavens No Country For Old Men all left me cold. This film was the first time in a decade I didn't bother going to the cinema to see a new Coen Brothers film, because I just expected more disappointment. I eventually rented it last week, and it massively exceeded my expectations, being fresh, funny and consistently entertaining.
It tells the story of a middle aged jewish man in the sixties whose life is falling to pieces- his wife is unfaithful, his promotion is being threatened by a disgruntled student who is prepared to resort to bribery and blackmail to attain a passing grade, his son is in love with the counter culture and is more interested in getting high and listening to Jefferson Airplane than preparing for his Bar Mitzvah (and who can blame him!) Desperate for help, he goes to see three Rabbis who, as you'd expect from a Coen Brothers film, run the gamut from a bit weird to colourfully insane.
A lot of the negative reviews here make complaints I can sympathise with; yes, it doesn't go anywhere, it has long, seemingly irrelevant bits, the beginning and ending are both confusing and obtuse and offer no explanation whatsoever; its weird for weirds sake, its pretentious, its elitist arty nonsense, too clever for its own good etc.... often with independent films I find just these kind of things extremely offputting.
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1 Comment 37 of 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
I'm a big fan of most Coen brothers films, probably all except the rather pointless and ineffective 'The Ladykillers' have many good points with some ('Fargo', 'No Country for Old Men') bordering on brilliance, but this more recent effort really tested me - it is occasionally enigmatic and is potentially 'inaccessible' for many due to some very significant 'quirks', most of which are not of the type normally associated with these writer/directors.

For me, watching it could be likened to the overall appearance of a blemished sandwich, a mouldy top slice of bread (the start of the film), a delicious filling (the majority middle part) and an odd offcut bottom piece of bread (the ending !) - fortunately this film is eaten top to bottom, so you get rid of the unpleasant taste of the start quite quickly and are left only mildly dissatisfied by the end (courtesy of the unsatisfactory bottom slice of bread). Don't get me wrong, I completely understood the ending and to a degree it fits in with the overall 'enigmatic' nature of the film (especially the beginning), but it is only suggestive rather than definitive - but I suppose that does at least allow the viewers mind to wander and/or ponder....I hope my intentional vagueness tempts you to audition this film !

A bonus is that on Blu-ray the presentation is superb, with a vivid and gloriously sharp picture and a clear, if essentially dialogue-driven, soundtrack.

The overall plot is not that complicated, and is especially easy for me to describe as I won't (in part, can't !) explain the opening in any meaningful way and will not be tempted to outline too much of the rest (unlike others, including the Amazon synopsis) as it is revelationary, so mentioning it would spoil things for first-time viewers.
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1 Comment 8 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Mr. R. W. Graham VINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
This is one of the coen brothers funniest films. Absolutely hillarious and barking mad too, and probably the weirdest film the coen brothers have ever done. The great unknown cast are hillarious, michael stulberg being the standout in the lead as a man on the edge of a nervous breakdown, or at least, that's what i thought was going on! Very easy to see why this is a huge hit with critics, but non coen brothers fans might wonder what all the fuss is about.
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