Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Unitarian Night at the Movies: A Serious Man
October 28, 2009, 2:28 pm
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A Night at the Movies


Sunday night was Unitarian night at the Tower Theater!  Six UUSS-connected folks were surprised to see one another there.  We made up one third of the 7:00 PM audience for “A Serious Man,” the new Coen Brothers film, set in a Minneapolis suburb in 1967.  It focuses on Jewish culture and family life as well as religious questions and practices.  Themes include the randomness of life, the burdens of ordinary people, the struggle to do the right thing, and the complexities of human relationships.    It’s a modern, wacky take on the story of Job in the Hebrew Scriptures.  The majority of us agreed with the New York Times reviewer, who loved it, but a minority was in good company with the New Yorker reviewer, who didn’t.  PS—it’s not a movie for kids.


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I loved this movie. It was the most Jewish movie I have ever seen. (Being a judeophile, this was a big plus.) “The Serious Man” had to deal with changes and challenges to his religious and cultural values, loss of marital security, foreign values and threats to his employment, and a religious community that seemed to be failing to support him in his crisis. I remember my father talking to me about how disorienting it felt during those times, to have been raised to adulthood in one era and then find himself living as an adult in another.

Comment by Julie A Heston

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