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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:
... Larry Gopnik
... Uncle Arthur
... Sy Ableman
... Judith Gopnik
... Danny Gopnik
Jessica McManus ... Sarah Gopnik
... Mr. Brandt
Brent Braunschweig ... Mitch Brandt
David Kang ... Clive Park
Benjamin Portnoe ... Danny's Reefer Buddy
Jack Swiler ... Boy on Bus
Andrew S. Lentz ... Cursing Boy on Bus
Jon Kaminski Jr. ... Mike Fagle
... Arlen Finkle
Alan Mandell ... Rabbi Marshak
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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

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un hombre serio  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$251,337, 4 October 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,190,525, 1 January 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sy Ableman says mathematics is "the art of the possible", a paraphrase of a quote by Otto von Bismarck, who called politics "the art of the possible". See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 10 mins) Larry is standing in front of the blackboard. The equation behind his right shoulder, "hbar = h/2pi = 6.6 x 10^-34 in [mks] units" is wrong. hbar = 1.05 x 10^-34 Js in mks units. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Animation Lookback: DreamWorks Animation Part 6 (2010) 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

 
Blacker than black
14 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie at TIFF on Saturday. The Coens quietly (and I mean quietly - no-one could hear even their amplified voices) introduced the movie with reference to the actors present but not the movie, letting it speak for itself. And it did. In its own way. It is an off-beat (what else?) and serious work that radiates bleak despair while searching for a funny bone. In the process, the movie makes other black comedies look positively light and airy. The movie evokes laughs from a different place than most – from a profound discomfort watching people twist themselves this way and that to fit in and be regarded seriously, whether situationally, socially or religiously. A great piece of work that will have you thinking long afterwards, especially considering the odd and difficult-to-contextualize prologue and, um different, ending which bookend a remarkable work.


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