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Academy Award® Nominated: A Serious Man

Posted by: Audiegrl

A Serious ManImaginatively exploring questions of faith, familial responsibility, delinquent behavior, dental phenomena, academia, mortality, and Judaism – and intersections thereof – A Serious Man is the new film from Academy Award‐winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen. They tell the story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F‐Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and 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 acquaintances, 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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The cast includes: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Adam Arkin, Aaron Wolff, and Jessica McManus

Reviews

IMDB member
“I saw this movie at TIFF on Saturday. The Coens quietly (and I mean quietly – no-one could hear even their amplified voices) introduced the movie with reference to the actors present but not the movie, letting it speak for itself. And it did. In its own way. It is an off-beat (what else?) and serious work that radiates bleak despair while searching for a funny bone. In the process, the movie makes other black comedies look positively light and airy. The movie evokes laughs from a different place than most – from a profound discomfort watching people twist themselves this way and that to fit in and be regarded seriously, whether situationally, socially or religiously. A great piece of work that will have you thinking long afterwards, especially considering the odd and difficult-to-contextualize prologue and, um different, ending which bookend a remarkable work.”

Did You Know?

The names of the characters who ride the school bus with Danny Gopnik are the names of children that the Coen brothers grew up with.

The criminal lawyer that Larry is told to go to, Ron Meshbesher, is actually a local lawyer in Minneapolis. He is of the firm Meshbesher and Spence. The address that is on the retainer envelope at the end of the movie is their actual downtown address.

The voice of Dick Dutton, the Columbia Record Club employee who harasses Larry on the phone, is supplied by actor Warren Keith. This is the second time he has appeared in a Coen Brothers film playing a character heard only on the phone. He also supplies the voice of Reilly Diefenbach, the GMAC finance officer who calls Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo (1996).

Sarah Gopnik repeatedly talks about going to “The Whole”. The Whole is the music club in the basement of the University of Minnesota student union. It opened in the 1960s.

Two Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Original Screenplay

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Orig Screenplay, Best Picture, Culture, Entertainment, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Hollywood, Movies, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World

Academy Award® Nominated: Up In the Air

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, BuellBoy and Ogenec

Up in the Air
From Jason Reitman, the Oscar®-nominated director of Juno, comes Up in the Air, the timely odyssey of Ryan Bingham (Oscar® winner George Clooney), a corporate downsizer and consummate modern business traveler who, after years of staying happily airborne, suddenly finds himself ready to make a real connection.

Ryan has long been contented with his unencumbered lifestyle lived out across America in airports, hotels and rental cars. He can carry all he needs in one wheel‐away case; he’s a pampered, elite member of every travel loyalty program in existence; and he’s close to attaining his lifetime goal of 10 million frequent flier miles – and yet … Ryan has nothing real to hold onto.

When he falls for a simpatico fellow traveler (Vera Farmiga), Ryan’s boss (Jason Bateman), inspired by a young, upstart efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick), threatens to permanently call him in from the road. Faced with the prospect, at once terrifying and exhilarating, of being grounded, Ryan begins to contemplate what it might actually mean to have a home.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Reitman
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sheldon Turner
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Walter Kern
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ivan Reitman, Daniel Dubiecki, and Jeffrey Clifford
Executive Producers .Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Ted Griffin and Michael Beugg
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Saklad
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dana E. Glauberman, A.C.E.
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Glicker
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rolfe Kent
Music Supervisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randall Poster and Rick Clark

The cast includes: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Amy Morton, Sam Elliott, J.K. Simmons, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Lowell

44D’s Reviews

Ogenec
Up In the Air is cool, old school film-making at its very best. Yes, I love watching mindless action movies as much as the rest of the gang. But I also appreciate movies with layers and layers of dialogue. Unfortunately, unless you subscribe to TCM, such movies are hard to come by. Especially in major studio releases. So I don’t know how Jason Reitman got this movie made, but bless his soul, he did. (A little movie called Juno probably had something to do with it.)

It’s hard to come up with a short list of the things I loved about this movie, but I’ll try. I’ve already mentioned the dialogue. But calling it dialogue is a huge disservice; more accurately, it’s repartee. And executed by two of the finest actors in Hollywood — George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. George is a man of many talents, but he is never more impressive than when he is channeling his inner Spencer Tracy. (See Out of Sight for another stellar example.) But I think he met his match in Vera Farmiga, who, as far as I am concerned, is the Meryl Streep of her generation. Except sexier. 🙂 Man, you have got to check out the scene in the airport lounge. The banter, the sexual tension, the double entendres… I was ready to light a cigarette right there in the theater. We need to see more of these two together, stat!

I’m running out of space, so I’ll briefly mention other highlights of the movie for me. It deals in a very deft way with the conundrum that, even as the world gets more interconnected, many of us feel so alienated and alone. It is very timely in its depiction of the horrible state of the economy, and how no industry — even one dependent on an economic downturn — is immune. And finally, it deals with the importance of love, and of family as an anchor in turbulent times. In so doing, the movie perfectly illustrates this saying by my favorite poet, Robert Frost: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Wonderful movie, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Did You Know?

With the exception of the famous actors, every person we see fired in the film is not an actor but a real life recently laid off person. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had.

While at Lambert Field in St Louis, Ryan tries to make an impassioned speech to Natalie about Charles Lindbergh’s plane The Spirit of St Louis. Officially, Lindbergh’s plane was a Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) so the two share the same name.

When the character Bob, played by J.K. Simmons, shows Ryan a photo of his two children, it is a photo of Simmons’ real children.

Six Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Actor (George Clooney)
Best Supporting Actress (Vera Farmiga)
Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick)
Best in Adapted Screenplay

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actor, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Sup Actress, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube