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October 01, 2009

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franklin

I think what people mean when they say the coens hate their characters is not actually that the hate their characters, whom they probably love as expressions of their own wit and cleverness but that they as people are mentally unequipted to deal with anything approaching real people. I'm sure I'm going to get called stupid now because I personally don't know what Raising Arizona was about and especially The Big Liebowski and found them pretty lacking but I've been hearing people tell me they were great since I was like eleven.I think their just good films for critics and pseudo intellectuals because they're not really about anything and allow these types to just verbally masterbate over them with little to no resistance from the actual film. The critics who appreciate their films will almost always probably win the argument though because they can always defend escapism with more escapism and theory supposed wit and cleverness and the counter argument is left to ask yes...but what does this mean. I think that what happens is when you're a kid you read comics and sci fi novels and you get bummed because there are no space ships in life...no super heros or villians but then something clicks and you realize that the story is actually far more complex and colorful and interesting if not painful in the world as it is than it is those books and your taste evolves. For some people this happens earlier than others like puberty. I knew some very smart kids that could have torn me apart with a word that cried when they got their sheets sticky

Louis Proyect

I think they should have save the first 10 minutes of this movie--the dybbuk prelude--and thrown the rest in the garbage can. Larry David has written far sharper and far funnier material on Jewish life in 5 minutes of several "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episodes than in this entire dreary film. I don't mind the cardboard characters, but only if the Coens had some ability to mine their comic possibilities, like Tex Avery did with Elmer Fudd.

Ray Oz

I'm feeling pretty thick right about now -- can someone, um, "explain" the significance of the "cosmic" final shot to me? I left the theater scratching my head. It's not that I can't deal with abrupt endings - we can all assume that Larry's x-ray results were bad news. The final shot just seemed like it was supposed to be fraught with meaning, and it went over my head.

don r. lewis

Glenn-
I remember wanting to come back to this after having seen the film but was reminded to do so after seeing your Best Of list.

In short, this review is a terrific reminder of what outstanding film writing is and can be. I forget what it looks and feels like sometimes so, when I read something like this, it's almost like a bolt of lightning.

I HATED "A Serious Man." Didn't get it, didn't like it, found it boring and slapdash, thought it was the equivalent of 2 smart but stoned dudes making up a silly story that no one else would get except those high on the same strain of weed they were smoking.

And, I still have issues with the film and am not totally sure I like it, even having read this. But this piece of writing has given me want and cause to revisit "A Serious Man" and I look forward to doing so...as well as reading some of the books you mentioned. Great film writing makes you reconsider films and turn the box they're in upside down and look at another angle. In this age of black and white film criticism that's rooted in buzz building and buzz killing, this is such a great reminder of what great film criticism looks like.

Since it's Thanksgiving and whatnot, just wanted to say THANKS for this. Awesome stuff dude.

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