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Dome Pondering Movie Review: A Serious Man (2009)

DPMovieReviewASeriousMan What is it about?

A professor searches for answers to his problems as his life unravels through various, sudden incidents. 

Who is in it?

Michael Stuhlbarg – Professor Larry Gopnik

Richard Kind – Uncle Arthur

Fred Melamed – Sy Ableman



Favorite Scene:


Clive Park, an Asian student of Professor Gopnik, comes into his office and attempts to bribe Gopnik for a passing grade with a huge sum of money. While Gopnik attempts to tell Clive that he cannot receive the cash, Clive pretends to have no clue on what he is talking about.

Favorite Quote:

Clive's Father: Culture clash. Culture clash.
Larry Gopnik: With all respect, Mr. Park, I don't think it's that.
Clive's Father: Yes.
Larry Gopnik: No. It would be a culture clash if it were the custom in your land to bribe people for grades.
Clive's Father: Yes.
Larry Gopnik: So... you're saying it is the custom?
Clive's Father: No, this is a defamation. Grounds for lawsuit.
Larry Gopnik: Let me get this straight: you're threatening to sue me for defaming your son?
Clive's Father: Yes.
Larry Gopnik: But it would...
Mr. Brandt: Is this man bothering you?
Larry Gopnik: Is he bothering me? No. I, uh...
[Larry stares awkwardly at Brandt until he leaves]
Larry Gopnik: See... if it were defamation there would have to be someone I was defaming him to, or I... all right, I... let's keep it simple. I could pretend the money never appeared. That's not defaming anyone.
Clive's Father: Yes. And a passing grade.
Larry Gopnik: Passing grade.
Clive's Father: Yes.
Larry Gopnik: Or... you'll sue me.
Clive's Father: For taking money.
Larry Gopnik: So he *did* leave the money.
Clive's Father: This is defamation!
Larry Gopnik: It doesn't make sense. Either he left the money or he didn't.
Clive's Father: Please. Accept the mystery.
Larry Gopnik: You can't have it both ways!
Clive's Father: Why not?

Review:

A Serious Man is a very interesting and peculiar film. It is a film that is not for everyone, as it has a very dry type of humor that may be entertaining for a select few. However, if you are part of that select few, A Serious Man is very funny. From the crazy, wacked out characters, including the humorous junior rabbi who is obsessed with a parking lot, to many quip scenes, the film has various aspects that keeps Larry Gobnik’s troubles light.

Despite the humor, the film does indeed send an interesting message. With an interesting, and somewhat abrupt, ending (one that we won’t give away), A Serious Man reminds the viewer that no matter how many problems you have, the second you get over them, more arise. Also, it reminds us that sometimes, the problems we think we have, pale in comparison in what could be.

Nonetheless, A Serious Man is a film that is an interesting view for those with a certain type of humor. If you enjoy dry humor, it is a definite recommendation.

Grade: 3/5

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