"Who ever heard of the Coen brothers anyway?" asked a Minneapolis woman with whom I was seated at a small party shortly after the opening of A Serious Man, in 2009. An accomplished and striking woman in her early seventies, Ms. S had lived in St. Louis Park, a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis, and the hometown of Joel and Ethan Coen. In fact, all of the women at the table where I was seated were likewise: affluent, politically and culturally active, philanthropic, and residents of St. Louis Park in the 1960s. On that December night, what they also shared was contempt for the film, and the filmmakers, whom they resented as inaccurate narrators of their shared place and time. Nothing could dissuade them from their conviction that the film was awful, not even the arguments of the Minneapolis Star Tribune film critic, Colin Colvert, who was also seated at our table.