Joel and Ethan Coen on A SERIOUS MAN: Fantasy Film Podcast [SPOILER ALERT!]

Are You There God, It's Me Larr... Hello? Michael Stuhlbarg (right) and Adam Arkin try to sync with the Great Cosmic Joke in A SERIOUS MAN

Are You There God, It's Me Larr... Hello? Michael Stuhlbarg (right) and Adam Arkin try to sync with the Great Cosmic Joke in A SERIOUS MAN

The Coen brothers are at it again. They’ve already sicced existential hit men, lunkheaded convicts, and over-ambitious hula hoop manufacturers on the populace, now they’ve gone and recruited God as chief tormentor. The target this time: Some poor, midwestern schlub who isn’t gonna know what hit him.

A SERIOUS MAN is a comedy, but a comedy in the Coen tradition, which means humble, Jewish physics professor Larry Gopnik (Broadway actor Michael Stuhlbarg) is going to go through royal Hell for our amusement, and maybe enrichment. Set in 1967, the film plagues Larry with the turmoils of the time, including but not limited to sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, moral relativism, and an unemployed brother (Richard Kind). This all could be very painful… aw, hell, it is painful. But it’s pain in the laughing-through-tears tradition that the Coens — once nice, midwestern Jewish boys themselves — know all too well.

SPOILER ALERT: This version of the podcast contains minor plot spoilers at the end of the round table interview. If you want to avoid these spoilers, please go to mightymoviepodcast.com and download the spoiler-free version.

About the Author

Dan Persons

DAN PERSONS is a New York-based writer who first got bit by the Cinefantastique bug when he encountered the 1979 double issue devoted to the sci-fi classic FORBIDDEN PLANET. He contributed for many years to the magazine, first as a correspondent, then as an editor.

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