A Serious Man, the new Coen brothers film, is a darkly funny, Kafkaesque tale of a Jewish man in Minnesota, whose marriage, job, and life are all simultaneously in jeopardy.
It’s a keenly observed, absurdist gem–though it’s so odd I have a feeling it’ll be a lot of people’s second or third favorite Coen brothers film rather than number one with a bullet.
My personal fave is Fargo for its droll hilarity and deft strokes of observation.
But let’s not forget that the Coens also gave us:
No Country For Old Men. Spare, dark, and enjoyably existential. One of the weirdest Best Picture winners in Oscar history–and that’s a good thing.
The Big Lebowski. A mistaken identity comedy with bowling and other weirdnesses.
Miller’s Crossing. A dense gangster film that I admired while not adoring it.
Blood Simple. Cold and surprising, and the film debut of Mrs. Joel Coen, Frances McDormand.
Raising Arizona. A wacko kidnapping comedy with really fun screwball performances.
And then there’s Burn After Reading, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and…oh, fuck, just look it up on imdb.
But first tell me your favorite Coen brothers movie and why. It’ll be darkly cathartic.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 5, 2009