Ed and I watched most of a movie called "A Serious Man", about a Jewish physics professor hit with myriad problems, before Ed tuned away because he got bored.
Since I didn’t see the end, I Googled it looking for a total plot. What I got was a lengthy examination of its twists and turns, its deep meaning, the agony of Jews navigating between two different cultures. And here I thought it was a semi-serious comedy about Larry, a nice guy who was not responsible for any of his problems and didn’t know how to fight back. Example: His wife announces she has found true love with their widowed neighbor and wants a “get” (a Jewish religious divorce that I explain for all who are unfamiliar with Jewish Orthodox musts). Her boyfriend is homely, portly and touchy feely, and embraces Larry like a long lost brother, oozing affecton and sympathy. (Gee,I’m sorry to be taking your wife but it is for the best and I love you too.)
If that isn’t low comedy, what is? At this point, the viewer has to be wondering, “Why didn’t you sock him?” And all of it done in the kind of acting Carol Burnett made famous in her comedy skits with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway so who could guess it was supposed to be serious? P.S He never wins, and at the end receives bad news from his doctor. I mean, what? Forgive me, I like happy endings.
We also watched “Sarajevo” mostly in German and some Serbian, with English titles about how WWI started. According to this movie, the Serbs were framed for the assassination of the Archduke and the reason was the German wish for war and ultimate domination of Europe (the first try). The prosecutor in charge of the investigation is the hero looking for the truth and is ultimately forced to sign off on the frame so that they will release his new found love and her father, both Serbians. So the movie ends on a sad romantic note as they leave and he stays behind mired in a corrupt system.
And history shows the war started, we aren't in it, but in a move that is truly stupid, German U boats attack our merchant ships, so we go to war. It was the same mistake the Japanese made when they bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 (I was 10 and heard about it it on the radio), in a sneak attack. Yamamoto, the Marshal Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”