A Serious Man
The best reply I can think of is trite: The Coen brothers, and forced to choose—A Serious Man (2009). The film offers a bleak and compassionate examination of Jewish existence and the protagonist is an academic. Professor Larry Gupman is on the cusp of tenure, when a Job-like sequence of events drives him to moral turpitude. He has a lot of tsures, and is simultaneously bribed and extorted by his family and surroundings, Jews and Goyim alike. One underlying sense appears when the Japanese father of a failed student seeking to bribe him sternly pleads: Please, accept the mystery (and the money).
The questions in the film are many as are the layers of suffering, reference, and allegory. Seeking answers, Gupnik, trying to be a serious man, turns to the rabbis in order of seniority. He meets a clueless junior rabbi (Wollowitz of The Big Bang Theory) in May or June 1967—the calendar on the wall shows both. The 1960s for the Jews it seems to say, are six days, when the old kind of Judaism died, moved from faith to platitudes. He then meets the senior rabbi, who replies to the search for reasons kindheartedly: "Well, we can't know everything"—and Gupnik retorts: "It sounds like you don't know anything". When finally the elderly rabbi appears, he is a vision out of Kafka, his wisdom summed in the adage: "be a good boy."
The film, like Jewish Studies, offers more questions than answers. Not a morality play, it is a play, declaredly one just like the meises of old. The film ends with tenure being granted (less joy than expected) as the hesitant Gupnik changes the grade, effectively accepting the bribe. As the pencil traces the new grade, a very disturbing call arrives from the doctor, a tornado approaches, and the film ends facing God's wrath from behind the adolescent's head, sound merging with his earphone: "Better find somebody to love." Well, as the rabbi says—"can't hurt, but won't save you from what's coming."