New Coen Brothers movie trailer: ‘The rabbi is busy!’

The Coen Brothers have explored dark, strange territory in their films before, but never in such an overtly Jewish context. Their newest film, “A Serious Man” is a deeper prod into their heritage, a closer look at the community and customs that made for good jokes in The Big Lebowski. In ‘Serious,’ a scorned Jewish man falls pray to complete family dysfunction and a hostile professional sabotage that threatens to derail his carefully measured life. Naturally, the protagonist seeks the advice of wise sages—the rabbis—who (at least by the looks of the trailer) aren’t altogether interested in his problems.

Patrick Goldstein from the L.A. Times gives the trailer two thumbs up. “What the trailer offers us is an unsettling, yet somehow irresistibly mesmerizing tone—something is amiss here, something that will unfold in a surprising, yet disturbing Coen brothers fashion.” Goldstein says he’s psyched “to be first in line” when the film is released in theaters in October.

Here’s the summary from

Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous colleagues, Sy Ableman, who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry’s unemployable brother Arthur is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job. While his wife and Sy Ableman blithely make new domestic arrangements, and his brother becomes more and more of a burden, an anonymous hostile letter-writer is trying to sabotage Larry’s chances for tenure at the university. Also, a graduate student seems to be trying to bribe him for a passing grade while at the same time threatening to sue him for defamation. Plus, the beautiful woman next door torments him by sunbathing nude. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person; a mensch, a serious man?

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