Focus Features, the distributor of A Serious Man, have put up a Web site devoted to varied aspects of the Coen brothers’ film — now available in DVD and Blue-Ray formats for home viewing.
- Amy Landecker stars as Mrs. Samsky, shown here with Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays protagonist Larry Gopnik, in writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s “A Serious Man.”
One section of the Web site probes the question:Â How did the Jewish community react to the Coen’s “Jewish” film?
There is an introduction to the section:
While the Coen Brothers’ comedyÂ A Serious Man touches on such universal issues as death, fate, and smoking pot, its specifically Jewish characters have touched off fierce debate in the Jewish community about the drama and its relation to Jewish theology. Below we have mapped out various responses to give a road map of whatÂ A Serious ManÂ has meant to certain Jewish pundits and writers.
This paragraph is followed by 10 excerpts from film reviews in Jewish publications and blogs (and the New York Times) — the American Jewish World’s review, by our San Francisco-based critic Michael Fox, tops the list.
Fox judged the film, which was shot in Twin Cities, in 2008, “a rare pleasure for Jewish audiences, and something of a mystery for non-Jewish moviegoers.” Further, he deemed “the movie required viewing for all American Jews above the age of, well, 17 (at least without a parent, per the R rating).”