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A Serious Man (2009)

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Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jessica McManus ...
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Brent Braunschweig ...
David Kang ...
Benjamin Portnoe ...
Jack Swiler ...
Andrew S. Lentz ...
Jon Kaminski Jr. ...
Ari Hoptman ...
Alan Mandell ...
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un hombre serio  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$251,337 (USA) (2 October 2009)

Gross:

$9,190,525 (USA) (1 January 2010)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sarah Gopnik repeatedly talks about going to "The Whole". The Whole is the music club in the basement of the University of Minnesota student union. It opened in the 1960s. See more »

Goofs

Larry Gopnik is writing an equation on the board in class. At one point he writes delta p equals the square root of ^2 - ^2 which would be zero, but the correct equation has the squared inside the bracket in the first term under the square root: ^2-^2. This is an equation for the root mean square deviation of momentum in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. Later in the scene, after the students leave and Sy Ableman appears, the equation is in the correct form. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Shtetl Husband: What a marvel... what a marvel.
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Crazy Credits

Fyvush Finkel's character is listed as "Dybbuk?". See more »


Soundtracks

Today
Written by Marty Balin & Paul Kantner
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
By arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I don't understand it so I will dismiss it as worthless and return to the familiar.
16 May 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

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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