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A Serious Man 2009
6.8 of 39

A Serious Man

HD 7.00 106 min
1967. Mild-mannered Larry Gopnik, living in suburban Minneapolis with his wife Judith and their two children, teenaged Sarah and preteen Danny, is a Physics professor at a local college. Larry lets life wash over him, especially as it has not placed any major bumps yet along the way, with a few upcoming perks being that he is on a tenure track, the decision to be made soon, the deliberation by the tenure committee which he is assured is only a formality, and Danny will soon have his bar mitzvah. Minor bumps include Sarah and Danny constantly being at each other's throats, especially about money, all three of his family members treating him more as a fixture than a husband or father, and his unemployed mathematician brother Arthur living with them in their already crowded house, he sleeping on their sofa. What Larry does not know about his life is that Danny is more interested in listening to Jefferson Airplane and smoking weed than he is in his Hebrew studies for the bar mitzvah. Larry believes that his Jewish faith will keep him safe. However, things slowly start to fall off the rails for Larry. Judith asks for a divorce in falling in love with a mutual friend, effete widower Sy Ableman. Judith, in the process, wants proverbially everything in the settlement, leaving Larry in a financial bind. Larry is having problems with a South Korean exchange student named Clive, who may or may not be bribing him for a passing grade, which becomes more clear as time goes on. Although he is further assured that they are not an issue, he learns that someone is sending poison pen letters about him to the tenure committee, most probably Clive in what seems to be his campaign to get a good grade or else. Their neighbor, Brandt, is slowly encroaching on their property. Someone has signed him up with the Columbia House record club, they who are hounding him for payment for records he has never received. And Arthur get into some problems with the law. One distraction are his new neighbors, the Samskys, voluptuous Mrs. Samsky who has a penchant for sunbathing nude in their back yard. In the process, Larry looks for some answers to all these problems, especially from his faith. He wants to speak most specifically to Rabbi Marshak, the senior rabbi at his synagogue who is now more a figurehead than practicing rabbi. As such, even trying to see Rabbi Marshak, let alone speak to him, is more difficult than just wanting it to happen.


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