Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) Short Review (R)
The Premise: Set in the early 60s, it’s a crucial week in the life of a struggling yet talented folk singer, Llewyn Davis.
Why You Should See It: It’s a Coen Brothers movie. I shouldn’t have to say any more than that. With the exception of ‘The Ladykillers’ remake, the Coens never disappoint. The characters in this film are as you would expect; quirky, funny, weird, mysterious, hard to read… Actors must really like working for the duo, because they always get the best performances out of actors in their movies and they know almost with certainty that the end result will be something they can be proud of. The film is not bleak so much as melancholy as per its central character LLewan Davis. Oscar Isaac has always been a scene stealer; this time carrying an an entire film in the lead role. When his character is described as having talent in the film, its not lip service. Isaac, himself, is a startlingly deft singer/guitarist. It was nice to see him paired again with ‘Drive” actress Carey Mulligan. I never liked the characters she played until her role in Drive, which was the first of three films in a row that I’ve seen her in now where I thought she was superlative. Coen Bros. regular John Goodman turns up in a less than plum role, but it is memorable, I think. Even if the film were awful, which it is surely not, it might still be worth seeing for the soundtrack. That alone will probably win the film some Oscars this year (Sidenote: ILD probably will be on my own Top 10 list next year since this was a 2014 wide release).
Despite having a downbeat tone, the film has the laughs typical of the Coens’ past efforts. There were a couple of BIG laughs, with one in particular that sustained for at least a minute with the audience. Good stuff. And I won’t try to explain what the cat represents in the film. See the film and decide for yourself. Personally, when it ended, I wanted to immediately see it again.
4.5 of 5