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
Most of the doorposts throughout the movie (including the Gopniks' and Mrs. Samsky's) have a small box attached to them. This is a mezuzah, a case containing passages from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21), which Jews traditionally affix to the door frames of their houses as a constant reminder of God's presence. A mezuzah also functions as a sign that a Jewish person occupies the house or works in the building onto which it is affixed, so in this movie, the frequent sight of mezuzahs on doorframes is one of many indications that most of the characters are Jewish. See more »
Dr. Sussman's dental office phone used a modular cord rather than a hardwire connector. The modular phone lines were not commercially available until 1976. See more »
Apparently you need a very good understanding of quantum physics and Judaism to appreciate this movie - maybe Albert Einstein could enjoy it.
For a more average movie viewer lacking both perspectives, it appears like a professor just subject to a fairly awful life quality. He seems to basically live in a harsh world where nobody cares about anyone, from his wife to children and rabbis. And everything that you don't want to happen in life seems to happen to him. If you need some humor on that theme; "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" is more appealing, though ridiculous.
It all comes across as bland story not really going anywhere. Then again, if you have the right perspectives for watching this movie, it might come across as brilliant as most reviews on IMDb for this movie are outstanding praise. For the less insightful viewers, like myself, it appears more interesting watching paint dry. The straight forward style of the movie seems a bit like Woody Allen, but less enjoyable.
You need some particular insight to enjoy this movie.
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