There can be no doubt that ‘A Serious Man‘ is the Coen Brothers’ most profound film. It’s not their funniest film (that honor goes to ‘The Big Lebowski’). It’s not their most complicated film (see ‘Miller’s Crossing’–scratch that, memorize ‘Miller’s Crossing’). And it’s not their most outlandish film (hello, ‘Raising Arizona’). But it is the film that grapples most extensively and most compellingly with huge, near-imponderable questions, most notably one we ask all the time, but rarely have a conclusive answer to: What’s going on? Also addressed: What is the meaning of existence? What unifies all events on Earth? And, last but not least, or easiest: Why are we here? Evan Puschak, or "The Nerdwriter," as he calls himself on YouTube, has been making a remarkable series of video essays for quite some time now, on a range of subjects: his latest discusses the crucial question at the heart of the Coens’ most understated, but also most gravitas-infused, movie. For anyone who wants to know more about the Coens’ work–or, in fact, how to close-read a film–this piece is invaluable.
Watch: Why The Coen Brothers’ ‘A Serious Man’ Is Their Most Profound Film To Date