Bloomington, Minnesota, 1967: Jewish physics lecturer Larry Gopnik is a serious and a very put-upon man. His daughter is stealing from him to save up for a nose job, his pot-head son, who gets stoned at his own bar-mitzvah, only wants him round to fix the TV aerial and his useless brother Arthur is an unwelcome house guest. But both Arthur and Larry get turfed out into a motel when Larry's wife Judy, who wants a divorce, moves her lover, Sy, into the house and even after Sy's death in a car crash they are still there. With lawyers' bills mounting for his divorce, Arthur's criminal court appearances and a land feud with a neighbour Larry is tempted to take the bribe offered by a student to give him an illegal exam pass mark. And the rabbis he visits for advice only dole out platitudes. Still God moves in mysterious - and not always pleasant - ways, as Larry and his family will find out. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Red Owl was a real Midwest grocery store chain, with several stores in the Twin Cities area, including Knollwood Plaza in St. Louis Park, about 2 mi. South of the Coen family home. The Red Owl mentioned in the film is identified as being in Bloomington, suburb some ways to the South of St. Louis Park. The significance in Rabbi Nachtner's anecdote is that Sussman's investigation of the teeth mystery takes him on a drive in the middle of the night that would have taken about an hour and a half round trip: far enough to seem just a little obsessed, but not too much. The Red Owl sign used in an exterior scene in the movie was a genuine antique, which unfortunately was accidentally dropped and destroyed after filming. See more »
When Traitle Groshkover - the Dybbuk - leaves the house in the opening scene, the snow is falling, and the ground is white. However, he leaves no footprints in the alleged snow as he walks through it. See more »
I don't understand it so I will dismiss it as worthless and return to the familiar.
I can see why many people would dismiss this. Like the reviewer who watched "52 minutes" and turned it off because none of the characters were likable so it would be a waste of time to continue.
Those who expect life to be a series of plausible outcomes, logically following some kind of cause and effect order are always disappointed by honest works of art, not to mention life itself. One of the very themes of this film are those kinds of people and their need to cling to some sort of tradition, structure, and belief in order to deny their fear.
Another theme was perspective and perception. That what may seem mundane and meaningless may be filled with the most profound meaning and that which we place so much value in may be worth absolutely nothing.
"Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you."
If you can enjoy a movie that leaves you with questions as much as one that attempts to provide answers then I highly recommend a viewing.
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