The only slightly “off” element surrounding last night’s A Serious Man premiere was that it was happening under the auspices of the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival. This suggests that Man traffics in a form of rollicking Milton Berle schtick when in fact it’s one of the greatest and darkest “no-laugh funny” movies of all time. It’s undeniably brilliant and masterful but almost all the humor is of the LQTM (“laughing quietly to myself”) variety. Which is actually the kind of humor I prefer.
I spoke to Michael Stuhlbarg, who truly needs to be in a Best Actor running for his performance as the relentlessly earnest and reasonable Larry Gopnik, and to Amy Landecker, who stands out in the film as Gopnik’s next-door neighbor — a kind of Jewishy Marlene Dietrich with a thing for pot and nude sunbathing.