Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

There’s only one film opening this weekend with any awards chances to talk about: The Coen brothers’ latest quirkfest, A Serious Man. Their last two films either won Best Picture (No Country for Old Men) or at least managed a Best Comedy nod from the Golden Globes (Burn After Reading); this one will probably fall in the middle somewhere.

Best Bets

Best Original Screenplay: With most of the season’s big guns falling in the adapted category, the Coens should have no trouble earning their fourth screenplay nomination.


Best Picture: The critical response has been phenomenal so far. But the film needs audience support as well to go the distance.

Best Director: Can the Coens return to the race just two years after winning this category? If several of the late-year releases disappoint, quite possibly.

Best Actor, Michael Stuhlbarg: As they did with Fargo‘s William H. Macy, the Coens have given a theater veteran his big-screen breakthrough. Stuhlbarg is priceless as the movie’s harried hero.

Long shot

Best Supporting Actor, Richard Kind or Fred Melamed: These two character actors play Stuhlbarg’s brother and the man who steals his wife, respectively. One of them will have to emerge as the stronger contender to have a shot.

Photo credit: Wilson Webb