The Coen Brothers: Don’t try to figure out our movies

The Coen brothers' new movie, "A Serious Man," opens with a piece of advice from medieval French rabbi Rashi: "Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you."

Fast forward to the film's long-suffering hero, physics professor Larry Gopnik, who would really like to heed those words, but after entering a world of pain and enduring a series of misfortunes that would put Job to shame, Larry needs answers, not proverbs. What did he do to deserve all this? And why does he seem so suddenly alone in a cruel, cruel world?

The Coens' 14th feature certainly has more than its share of autobiographical elements. Joel, 54, and Ethan, 52, were raised in an academic Jewish family in the same Minneapolis suburb where they shot "A Serious Man." The film is set in 1967, a time when Joel and Ethan were in the thick of their Hebrew school education -- which they hated, much like Larry's son who, like the Coens, would rather watch "F-Troop."

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