I am a HUGE Coen brothers fan. I know, no big surprise. They don’t get anymore offbeat than the Coen’s and I surely seem to thrive on the offbeat.
This afternoon, for some reason that I am still not sure of, we decided to see A Serious Man at 4:00 in the afternoon. Perhaps we are preparing for old age, but I think the real reason was the desire to watch the Yankee game that never happened in the evening.
I will not be one of those people who tells all the good parts of the movie and then ruins it for you. (you people who are like that, you know who you are). And I will not do a movie review because I am not Siskell or Ebert. (wait, isn’t one of them dead?) What I will do is give you a few comments about the experience of seeing the film.
Imagine the 4:00 show. Many walkers and canes and more than one person explaining what just happened in a loud whisper throughout the film. The guy behind us? Asleep before the movie even started. And, we saw this in a town that, how should I put this delicately, has a bit of a shortage for those of my tribe. Plainly put, this is a predominantly non-Jewish zip code. But the senior citizen Jews abounded in this little suburban theater (of the absurd) and became part of the theatrical experience. My friend complained of choking on hairspray when we walked in.
Having set the scene I will tell you that I LOVED the movie. But I will also tell you that if you are a not a Jew who grew up in the 60s this one might be a bit of a stretch for you. If you love films (not movies) and have a true appreciation for brilliant directing, amazing acting, some pretty cool messaging and great music as well as camera angles and incredible period set decorating, this could still be for you.
I could not help but relate to all the avocado green and burnt orange decor. The artwork and light fixtures, fabrics and clothing all brought back my preteen years in a vivid kind of washed out technicolor. I am pretty sure my brother’s Bar Mitzvah picture was hanging in the background of one of the shots!
The film was quite moving, at times hysterical in that Coen-style black humor sort of way and reminiscent of Fargo without the foreskin.
Jews, go check it out. Those not of the tribe, bring a Jewish friend to explain the subtleties.