2.A Serious Man
Like God, the Coen Brothers love to torment their creations. It's 1967, and Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), a physics professor, is living a Kafka-esque nightmare. His wife is cheating on him, someone is sabotaging his application for tenure, his brother Arthur is draining a cyst, the Columbia Record Club is dunning him . . . We get it — the man is a schlemazel. Yet every time the Jobean misery grows overwhelming, the Coens take off on a brutally funny tangent. God might have the last laugh on us all, but until that happens, the Coens are in on the joke.
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