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Serious Man (2009) - Oscar ® Nominee!

Director: Joel Coen Ethan Coen     Starring: Michael Stuhlbarg
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Product Details:

Format: DVD
Sku: 213718960
UPC: 025195052740
UPC 14: 00025195052740
Sales Rank: 10860
Rating: Game Rating Code
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A black comedy set in 1967 and centered on larry gopnik, a midwestern professor who watches his life unravel when his wife prepares to leave him because his inept brother won't move out of the house.

"See this film immediately.  Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"May not have the starry casts of the Coens' more recent films, but it has plenty of heart and soul.  Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"It's a work of cruel comic genius, in some ways even crueler than "No Country for Old Men.'  Ty Burr, Boston Globe

Editor's Note
The Coen Brothers (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) get back to their Minnesota roots with this film that blithely walks the line between comedy and drama. Set in 1967, A SERIOUS MAN centers on Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), a university professor whose life is falling apart around him.
Video Features DVD, Widescreen, English, Spanish, French, Dolby, Dolby Digital (5.1)
Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Universal
Video Release Date Release Date: 8/28/2011
Video Play Time Running Time: 106 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2009
Video UPC UPC: 00025195052740
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks:
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review A Serious Man - DVD Review
By: Rob Vaux filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 1/29/2010 6:43 PM
For all their stylization and genre playfulness, the Coen Brothers have always made very personal films. But never more so than in A Serious Man, which appears to reflect on the filmmakers' experiences growing up in a Jewish family of academics in a suburb of Minneapolis, presenting us with a world which one rarely sees in the movies. It draws inspiration from the story of Job, reincarnated here as a Midwestern Jewish professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) whose life appears to be falling apart in countless ways. Judaism plays a huge role in the proceedings, as does the notion of an outsiders' community and what happens when the people you depend on suddenly prove incapable of support....read the full review
Cast & Crew
Video Cast Info Sari Wagner
Video Cast Info Michael Stuhlbarg
Video Cast Info Jessica McManus
Video Cast Info Aaron Wolf
Video Cast Info Richard Kind
Video Cast Info Fred Melamed
Video Cast Info Ethan Coen - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Carter Burwell - Composer
Video Cast Info Roger Deakins - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Mary Zophres - Costume Designer
Video Cast Info Tim Bevan - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Eric Fellner - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Joel Coen - Producer
Video Cast Info Ethan Coen - Producer
Video Cast Info Robert Graf - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Jess Gonchor - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Joel Coen - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Joel Coen - Director
Video Cast Info Ethan Coen - Director


Independent Spirit (2010)
   Video Award Name Joel & Ethan Coen, Nominee, Best Director
Video Award Name Joel & Ethan Coen et, al., Winner, Robert Altman Award

Golden Globe (2010)
   Video Award Name Michael Stuhlbarg, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Independent Spirit (2010)
   Video Award Name Roger Deakins, Nominee, Best Cinematography

Oscar (2010)
   Video Award Name Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
   Video Award Name Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Nominee, Best Motion Picture of the Year

Professional Reviews

Box Office
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he Coen brothers create yet another comedy classic with their latest send up, A SERIOUS MAN. No one does comedy quite like the Coens..." 09/12/2009

Los Angeles Times
"[A] pitch-perfect comedy of despair that, against some odds, turns out to be one of their most universal as well." 10/02/2009

USA Today
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "A SERIOUS MAN is a wonderfully odd, bleakly comic and thoroughly engrossing film. Underlying the grim humor are serious questions about faith, family, mortality and misfortune." 10/02/2009

Chicago Sun-Times
"[T]his is mysterious, provocative and, occasionally, very funny..." 10/02/2009

A.V. Club
"[T]here's something sweet and even a little heartening about the movie....Maybe it's that the lead character is arguably the most sympathetic Coens protagonist since Nicolas Cage in RAISING ARIZONA." -- Grade: A- 10/01/2009

Rolling Stone
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "This seriously funny movie, artfully photographed by Richard Deakins, is spiritual in nature, barbed in tone, and, oh, yeah, it stings like hell." 10/15/2009

Entertainment Weekly
"[V]ery much a landmark in the Coen canon....Working with affectionate mockery, the Coens take the cinder-block-synagogue banality of American Jewish life in 1967 and make it look as archly exotic as the loopy Scandinavian-American winterscape of FARGO." -- Grade: A- 10/09/2009

Chicago Sun-Times
4 stars out of 4 -- "[The film] bears every mark of a labor of love....Rich and funny..." 10/07/2009

"Certainly, the Coens' filmmaking skills are sharply attentive to the occasion. Precision is the name of the game in the writing, camera placement, editing, music choices and pitch of the performances..." 10/01/2009

Washington Post
"A darkly funny, affectionate homage to their Jewish roots, A SERIOUS MAN feels like the Coens' most disarmingly personal film..." 10/09/2009

Entertainment Weekly
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "The Best Films Of The Year" -- "Funny and savage in equal measure..." 12/25/2009

Rolling Stone
Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2009" -- "[D]eliciously tongue-in-cheek, and dead-on serious." 12/24/2009

USA Today
Ranked #9 in USA Today's "Top Ten Films Of 2009." 12/31/2009

5 stars out of 5 -- "Stuhlbarg, an American stage actor with only a few films on his CV, is brilliant as the anxious, bespectacled Larry..." 11/09/2009

Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
We learn from the Book of Job: Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Such a man is Larry Gopnik. He lectures on physics in front of a blackboard filled with bewildering equations that are mathematical proofs approaching certainty, and in his own life, what can be sure of? Nothing, that's what...His wife is leaving him for his best friend. His son is listening to rock 'n' roll in Hebrew school. His daughter is stealing money for a nose job. His brother-in-law is sleeping on the sofa and lurking in unsavory bars. His gun-nut neighbor frightens him. A student tries to bribe him and blackmail him at the same time. The tenure committee is getting unsigned libelous letters about him. The wife of his other neighbor is sex-crazy. God forbid this man should see a doctor...Beginning with a darkly comic prologue in Yiddish, A Serious Man inhabits a Jewish community where the rational (physics) is rendered irrelevant by the mystical (fate). Gopnik can fill all the blackboards he wants, and it won't do him any good. Maybe because an ancestor invited a dybbuk to cross his threshold, Larry is cursed. A dybbuk is the wandering soul of a dead person. You don't want to make the mistake of inviting one into your home. You don't have to be Jewish to figure that out...Have I mentioned A Serious Man is so rich and funny? This isn't a laugh-laugh movie, but a wince-wince movie. Those can be funny, too. The Coens have found mostly unfamiliar actors, or those like Stuhlbarg, Kind and Melamed you've seen before, but you're not quite sure where. I imagine (but do not know) that Joel and Ethan have been kicking this story around for years, passing time by reminding each other of possible characters, seeing an actor and observing, "There's our Mrs. Samsky." Their actors weren't cast, they were preordained...There is a story told in A Serious Man that may seem out of place. I believe it acts as a parable reflecting the film, Gopnik's life, and indeed the Book of Job. It's the one about the Jewish dentist who discovers the words "help me" naturally occurring in Hebrew on the back of a gentile's lower front teeth. Remember that many parables contain their message in their last lines. - Roger Ebert

Los Angeles Times 10 of 10
"If not now, when?" the Jewish sage Hillel famously asked, and with A Serious Man the Coen brothers have answered...Writer-directors Joel and Ethan have seized the opportunity afforded by the Oscar-winning success of No Country for Old Men, to make their most personal, most intensely Jewish film, a pitch-perfect comedy of despair that, against some odds, turns out to be one of their most universal as well...Set in a very specific time and place -- the Jewish community in suburban Minneapolis circa 1967 -- that closely echoes the Coens' own background, A Serious Man is a memory piece re-imagined through the darkest possible lens...Yet the more the man of the title suffers the torments of Job, the more he tries to deal with the unknowability of the usual willfully absurd and decidedly hostile Coen universe, the more we're encouraged to wonder if this isn't just the tiniest bit funny. And the more real the pain becomes, the more, in a quintessentially Jewish way, laughter becomes our only serious option...The serious man in question is Larry Gopnik (Tony-nominated actor Michael Stuhlbarg), a university professor who's up for tenure in physics. Married with two children and the standard suburban house, he's always tried to live up to expectations, tried to be the best person he can, so he's totally unprepared when every aspect of his life begins to collapse in a slow-motion riot...On the one hand, "A Serious Man" is rife with specific Jewish references, like the great cantor Yossele Rosenblatt. It starts with a quote from Rashi and a Yiddish-language parable set in Eastern Europe starring the veteran Fyvush Finkel as someone who may or may not be a dybbuk and ends with the classic credit line, "No Jews were harmed in the making of this motion picture."...Yet it's impossible to watch Larry Gopnik's travails without feeling that they will speak to everyone who's been battered and blindsided by life's tormenting crises and wonders why. By being so site-specific, the Coens have broadened their reach and expanded their touch..."I've tried to be a serious man. I've tried to do right," Gopnik laments more than once. Haven't we all, this unexpected film, at once comic and haunting, asks. Haven't we all? - Kenneth Turan

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