Unranked at time of writing.
The Coen Brothers have a unique style, and this film is a prime example. It is confident, surreal, knowing, and darkly funny.
Joel and Ethan Coen love to break all the rules, and it doesn’t always work. Yes, they’ve made some truly excellent films, like The Big Lebowski and Fargo; but sometimes the overblown characterisations and quirky storytelling just don’t work – like O Brother Where Art Thou? and Burn After Reading.
Well, somehow, A Serious Man hangs together. Despite an opening sequence that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the film, and an ending that resolves exactly nothing, I enjoyed it. I left the cinema feeling satisfied.
It’s a hard movie to pin down, but it helps to know that it’s based on the biblical book of Job (in which a lot of bad things happen to a good God-fearing man without much explanation), transposed to 1960s suburban America.
If you like the Coen Brothers, you’ll love this. If you don’t know their style, be prepared for a weird experience.
Oh, and the Jefferson Airplane soundtrack rocks.