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A Serious Man


Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen 
Starring: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Fred Melamed  
An image from A Serious Man

We've all been there - so much goes wrong that the only thing we seek is clarity. For Larry (Stuhlbarg), the list contains pretty much everything it could: his wife (Lennick) is leaving him, his unemployable brother (Kind) is sleeping on his sofa, his son has a discipline problem and his daughter is stealing money from his wallet.

Even work is posing problems for the physics professor. He's being bribed by one of his students and his tenure application is on the rocks. As his last option, Larry turns his hopes to religion. Even the rabbis he visits are less help than he'd expect, but will his fortunes take a turn when he's involved in a car crash?

When you've received Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, you're really given the freedom to go and make the films that you want to make. This is no exception, with the Coen brothers delivering one of their most mature pieces to date. Mixed in with the usual dose of dark humour one has come to expect from the Coens, are questions relating to serious issues and the struggle to come to terms with them.

Whilst this film isn't on the same scale as No Country For Old Men or Fargo, it is still a gem of a Coen brothers production. The use of a widely unknown cast ensures that all focus is firmly on the characters and by the end of the film you'll find yourself rooting for them.

Robert Gardner

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Spring Term (35mm)