Serious Man: Coen Brothers New Film


Serious Man–Coen Brothers New Film
Having won the Best Picture Oscar for “No Country for Old Men,“ their masterpiece (and most accomplished film to date), for their 14th movie, the Coen brothers opted for a smaller, more personal, period film, “A Serious Men,” set in 1967 and loosely based on the life of their father, who was an economics professor.
Unlike the Coens’ last couple of movies, “A Serious Man” has no stars or even recognizable cast. The protagonist is played by Michael Stuhlbarg, best known for his stage work (Broadway’s “The Pillowman”) and the supporting cast includes Richard Kind and Adam Arkin.  In other words, none of the regulars (Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, John Goodman) from their previous work.
Stuhlbarg plays Larry Gopnik, a middle-aged physics prfoessor in a Midwestcollege, who goes through middle-life crisis, when his wife seeks divorce and his children show rebellious streak, refusing to listen to him anymore. On top of that, he faces a moral problem, when one of his students tries to bribe him for a better grade.
Based on this description, it’s valid to assume that, thematically, "Serious Man” bears resemblance to the Coens’ 1991 dark comedy, “Barton Fink,” also a about a middle-aged creative person in a crisis situation, a serious playwright in Hollywood.
Opening theatrically on October 2, “A Serious Man” premieres at the Toronto Film Fest next week. It marks the 25th anniversary of the Coen brothers’ distinguished screen career.