Bloomington, Minnesota, 1967: Jewish physics lecturer Larry Gopnik is a serious and a very put-upon man. His daughter is stealing from him to save up for a nose job, his pot-head son, who gets stoned at his own bar-mitzvah, only wants him round to fix the TV aerial and his useless brother Arthur is an unwelcome house guest. But both Arthur and Larry get turfed out into a motel when Larry's wife Judy, who wants a divorce, moves her lover, Sy, into the house and even after Sy's death in a car crash they are still there. With lawyers' bills mounting for his divorce, Arthur's criminal court appearances and a land feud with a neighbour Larry is tempted to take the bribe offered by a student to give him an illegal exam pass mark. And the rabbis he visits for advice only dole out platitudes. Still God moves in mysterious - and not always pleasant - ways, as Larry and his family will find out.Written by
don @ minifie-1
No line gets a bigger laugh when the film plays in Minneapolis than Larry's divorce lawyer telling him "Hire Ron Meshbesher" to represent Arthur. Meshbesher is a real person, the most prominent criminal defense attorney in Minnesota for 40-some years, "The Guy" in the words of other lawyers. Thus, Larry learns that Arthur is more trouble than he'd imagined. This is a slight anachronism, as Meshbesher's reputation was not yet established by 1967. To make the significance of the recommendation more apparent to contemporary and non-Minnesota viewers, the script inflates the amount of Meshbesher's retainer a good bit from what it was in the late 60s. The scene was shot in the Minneapolis office of Meshbesher and Spence, and the address on the retainer envelope at the end of the movie is the actual address of the firm. See more »
Larry Gopnik teaches at a suburban college, but all of the mail he receives in his office is addressed to the zip code 55401. This zip code is in downtown Minneapolis, not the suburbs. See more »
I don't understand it so I will dismiss it as worthless and return to the familiar.
I can see why many people would dismiss this. Like the reviewer who watched "52 minutes" and turned it off because none of the characters were likable so it would be a waste of time to continue.
Those who expect life to be a series of plausible outcomes, logically following some kind of cause and effect order are always disappointed by honest works of art, not to mention life itself. One of the very themes of this film are those kinds of people and their need to cling to some sort of tradition, structure, and belief in order to deny their fear.
Another theme was perspective and perception. That what may seem mundane and meaningless may be filled with the most profound meaning and that which we place so much value in may be worth absolutely nothing.
"Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you."
If you can enjoy a movie that leaves you with questions as much as one that attempts to provide answers then I highly recommend a viewing.
80 of 114 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this