A Serious Man

  • Author(s): Norman M. Cohen
  • When: 2011-10
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • In the Coen brothers’ movie, A Serious Man, they once again present the age old question of theodicy, the paradox of a just and good God and the existence of evil and injustice in the world, challenging the apparently simplistic religious notion that God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. This time the issue is part of a Job like story that, like religion itself, asks more questions than it answers. And in the Coen brothers’ style, they utilize highly exaggerated stereotypes and caricatures that mock, humiliate and incite the sensibilities of their viewers, who have come to understand that it is part of the price of admission.

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