Just in time for Valentine's Day, the most swoonerific tales of child manipulation, homicidal maniacs, fighting couples, unhappy Midwesterners, toilet seats and Nia Vardalos.
When you go see a Coen Brothers film, you know what you're going to get, inasmuch you can always expect at least a few of their recurring themes to rear their heads. A man constantly burdened by setback after setback. An unfaithful woman. Shady financial dealings. The bullying of the weak by the strong. Murder. With each successive movie incorporating some or all of these elements, you have to wonder what happened in the Coens' lives to continually draw them back to these staples... aside from the fact that they're the stuff of great movies, of course. You also have to wonder why the Coens hate their own characters so much, that they would heap such troubles upon them until they break. All of the above tropes (even murder, kind of) are present in A Serious Man, which is about a Jewish family living in the Midwest in the 1960s, and was actually filmed in locations near where Joel and Ethan Coen grew up. While not autobiographical, it does draw heavily from their childhood and upbringing, so it's as much of an insight into the team's origins as we're likely to get.
The 2010 Oscar nominations are finally here, and they are... not at all surprising! Not really, anyway. Look at it this way: The good news is you're going to win your office Oscar pool. The bad news is, so will everyone else, so you're just going to get your own twenty back. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Let me show you.