Tag Archive for 'A Serious Man'

82nd Academy Awards Retrospective

During the week running up to the Academy Awards, from all the buzz by everyone about The Hurt Locker, I predicted it to win Best Picture. Even though I still wanted Up In The Air to win because that was my personal favorite out of the 10 films. My original Academy Award for Best Picture of 2009 prediction…

All the Inglourious Basterds who were Blind Sided by Avatar’s visuals are not A Serious Man and should grow Up and get An Education or should be thrown into The Hurt Locker inside District 9 because the Best Picture of 2009 is still Up In The Air because the honor is very Precious: Based On The Novel Push by Sapphire.

As for the show itself, the 82nd Academy Awards honoring the best films of 2009 was held last night. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin co-hosted the awards. The duo were mainly funny when they roasted celebrates at the start of the show. During last years 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, Tina Fey and Steve Martin presented an award and that is when I wished for the two to host together in the near future. I guess Tina Fey’s 30 Rock co-star Alec Baldwin is the next best choice. After hosting the last years Emmys and having a dance number on his own show, everyone’s favorite Neil Patrick Harris opened this years Academy Awards with a dance number.

As for the awards themselves, I am very happy of the winners. Everyone won an award that deserved it. Up won for Best Animated Feature. Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for Inglourious Basterds. Like I said in my review, his character is an instant classic and his evilness over shadowed even Hitler. Mo’Nique won for Precious: Based On the Novel Push By Sapphire. Simply one of the most stomach turning roles I have ever watched. Jeff Bridges won Best Actor for Crazy Heart. I have yet to view the film, but his praise for the role and his winning has inspired me to watch it. Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for The Blind Side. It was not my favorite film of the year, but she deserved the award. Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director for The Hurt Locker. And Finally, The Hurt Locker won Best Picture. I think it deserved to win even though it might have not been my top choice for Best Film of the year. I did think it was much stronger than the majority of the 10. I am happy that it beat out Avatar for both Best Director and for Best Picture. Many people thought Avatar might win Best Picture, which I felt was a much weaker film. Avatar ended up only winning three out of its nine nominations. Avatar won the awards it deserved because all three awards were specifically about its visuals, which is the only substance the film has.

I noticed many connections between the 10 Best Picture nominees.

There were many films about war.

• Avatar
• District 9
• The Hurt Locker
• Inglourious Basterds

Spoiler Alert, two different films featured the exact same twist ending.

• Up In The Air
• An Education

A rarity in Hollywood, there were films that focused on Jewish people.

• Inglourious Basterds
• An Education
• A Serious Man

Two films were about young poor African American children wishing for a better life.

• The Blind Side
• Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire.

There were many films that had elements about Education.

• Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
• The Blind Side
• An Education, blatantly by the title alone.
• Up featured a boy who is trying to get an education by earning merit badges.

Avatar and District 9 were basically the exact same film, hitting many of the same beats.

• They both were about Man versus Aliens.
• The main character is a man that ends up turning into an alien.
• The main character as an alien turns on man because they become evil.
• The final climactic scene features the main character fighting the main villain, with one in a giant robot suit.

All 10 films feature a sex scene.

• Avatar featured the Na’vi aliens having weird pony tail sex.
• The Blind Side featured, well, Sandra Bollock’s character had kids somehow.
• District 9 featured a fake Photoshopped image of the main character have sex with an alien.
• An Education, Spoiler Alert, they have sex.
• The Hurt Locker did not have a sex scene, but featured Evangeline Lilly, who is sexy enough.
• Inglourious Baserds features a two second long sex scene.
• Precious, well, lets just say no one is looking forward to that scene again.
• A Serious Man, featured a dream sequence where the main character has sex.
• Up featured a sad miscarriage at the beginning. The baby had to be created somehow.
• Up In The Air featured Vera Farmiga’s naked body.

All 10 films dealt with xenophobia.

• Once Again Inglourious Basterds, An Education, A Serious Man, all focused on xenophobia of Jewish people.
• Avatar and District 9 focus on Man being xenophobia agents Aliens.
• The Blind Side and Precious had elements of xenophobia of African Americans.
• The Hurt Locker featured elements of xenopobia of Iraqis.
• Up In the Air featured only white people except for a single African American, who of course rapped.
• Up, all old people are of course racist, and it was clear that original the old man was upset that the little fat asian kid joined him on his adventure.

A Serious Man

A Serious Man is about a Jewish American man in the 1960s as every aspect of his life falls apart. From the extremely large spoiler heavy things, to the completely minor things, like the TV going out, there is nothing in his life that is untouched. It even extends to his entire family, with all of them having parts of their own lives falling apart. My review is very spoiler heavy and becomes less of a review and basically becomes an analysis of the film because so many people did not understand it. Read on if you have already watched the film or do not mind spoilers.

The opening scene of A Serious Man features a seaming unrelated story on the surface to the main film, but it has a deeper purpose. It features an older Jewish family in the early 20th century in Europe. They never explicitly states that the main character in the film is related to them, but by the rules of Chekhov’s gun, not only are they related to the main character, but their own miss actions are the cause of the main characters misfortune. The opening scene could have three other major points; the idea of telling far fetch family stories, the old idea of curses, or just to show a traditional European Jewish family in the early 20th century. So maybe in the end, it was actually needed.

Spoiler Alert, here is where I get spoiler heavy with the plot and ending. The entire film loops around back to the exact spot where it started. Ignoring the opening scene, the very first scene we see, is the main character’s son trying to pay off the another kid at school. He loses the money and though out the entire film he cant pay the kid back. One of the son’s few problems he has to deal with. The son finally gets the money back and in the very last scene we see is him, in the exact same manor as that the very beginning of the film, the son gets ready to hand over to money to the other kid before the film cuts to the credits. The second scene we see is the main character at the doctors office. The second to last scene the doctor calls the main character to come into his office for bad news. So the film ends on the same note as in began.

A lot of peoples problems with the A Serious Man is that there is no resolution to anything but instead the film cuts to credits even before the final climax. At first I was shocked when I saw the credits rolling but then seconds later I realized everything and actually thought it was funny what the Coen Brothers did. Through out the entire film they blatantly stated multiple times the idea of no resolution to a story.

The opening scene had no resolution, unless the entire main part of the film is the actual resolution to the minor story.

The main character has multiple dreams but wakes up during the climax, so there is no resolution to any of them.

The main character is a professor of physic and explains two different ideas about quantum mechanics. Lucky for me, I have already read up on the basic ideas of quantum mechanics to under stand it when it comes up in media, such as this film. So I already knew both quantum mechanics ideas that were explained before viewing this film. The first, he explaining Schrödinger’s cat. A very deep and complex idea but to put it simply; It is a thought experiment of the idea of putting a cat in a box with acid and closing the box. Then you do not know if the cat is alive or dead, thus no resolution. The second theory he talks about was the Uncertainty Principle. The name alone tells you that you can not know everything because some things will be left uncertain.

Then the most blatant of them all. The main character is told a long pointless story that has no resolution. The main character even goes as far as to state that there was no resolution and that he wanted to know. The story teller response by saying who cares.

All these things add up and everyone should have not been surprised when the film had no resolution. First off the films resolutions could only go in two direction. Second it would actually be boring an unnecessary to see it. Either the doctor tells the main character he is fine, or there is seriously something wrong. The doctor called the main character over the phone, but forced him to come in, which means only one thing, there is something seriously wrong. As for the main character’s son, either him and everyone else dies from the tornado, or they survives it. Both parts we do not need to see. This is my third favorite film out of the 10 best nominated for best picture. I think very highly of this film and it is in third place only because I like the other two just slightly more.