Friday, Sep. 04, 2009

A Serious Man

Opens Oct. 2
No American filmmakers reveal less of themselves in their work than Joel and Ethan Coen. Their movies — from their debut, Blood Simple, 25 years ago to the multiple-Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men — are mainly to be cherished for the sophisticated tricks they play on their audience; the brothers are the Penn & Teller of indie auteurs. But their new film may have a grain or two of autobiographical truth. It's about a group of Minnesota Jews in the '60s, which reflects the Coens' joint history, and its protagonist is a college professor, like Joel and Ethan's father Edward. Beyond that, who knows? Things spin out of control and into black comedy, so the one educated guess to be made about A Serious Man is that it's not that serious. That's very Coen.