|Genius True to Life Comedy - 4.5/5|
Before seeing this film I had never had the pleasure of seeing Michael Stuhlbarg in action before and I feel I have severely missed out. His performance was absolutely sublime. He managed to epitomise the average 40 something male in a loveless marriage with annoying kids who gradually descends into a form of mid life crisis in an extremely comical way. I take nothing away from the scriptwriters but Stuhlbarg made this film for me. He managed to be stereotypically Jewish in his nature but with the Coen touch that meant it was not offensive. I simply cannot praise this performance enough. This film is the type of film that comes up out of nowhere and grabs you in a very unexpected way. I took a shot with this film based solely on its directors and I am hugely glad I did.
What else did I love about the movie? I enjoyed the way that Stuhlbarg's character was utterly helpless against bad things happening to him. It one particular scene he is told that he will have to pay for the funeral of the man who his wife has run off with! Of course, he does it with little argument because he wants to be a good citizen. It is elements of the film such as this that make us empathise with his character. We want him to have something good come into his life but at the same time we enjoy the fact he can't catch a break because it is relatable. The Coen brothers are mean to this character. At the end of the film he finally has some good news but this is snatched away with a serious phone call from his doctor. I think this is how the film had to end; it was the characters utter helplessness that we as an audience enjoyed.
The only problem I have with this film is that the ending was far too abrupt. I didn't expect it to come and I was disappointed that it had come around so soon. Aside from this fairly small criticism, the Coen brothers have released another comedy of genius.