Inside Llewyn Davis (Drama, Music 2013) (15) D: Ehan and Joel Coen: P: W: Joel and Ethan Coen: C: Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Garret Hedlund, F Murray Abrahm 1h 44m. USA.
Synopsis: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961.
A traumatic and emotional week in the life of a folk singer called Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) in this melancholic twilight hazed film. Its simplistic, thought provoking and heavily sprinkled with the Coen Brothers special blend of unusual characters and situations. The pathetic Llewyn is subjected to a run of shitty luck. Starting out crashed on a friends sofa his luck continually finds new lows past rock bottom, he loses his friends cat, has a foul run in with his ex, pisses off a ton of people and makes a ton of bad decisions while dragging his sorry ass from sofa to sofa via the freezing back streets all in the pursuit of becoming a world famous folk singer superstar, there are several injections of authentic live performances throughout..
The Coens have given some hints that the film is loosely based on a concept of something that could have happened to Dave Van Ronk, a similar Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter from the 6-s
Hiding between all the rejection and tense situations there is a suggestion that Llewyn might actually have some talent, this is summed up in one quiet but magnificent scene, when he meets a goatee faced F. Murray Abraham’s in a small cameo who after hearing Llewyn play, candidly sums up the matter as “I don’t see any money in it..” this is just another knock down of many for Lleywn who by this time is taking it all in his stride. Along the way he meets an aggressive jazz player Ronald Turner (John Goodman), who gives his much useless rambling advice and mocks the suicide of a former partner of Llewlyn and everything to do with folk music, there is a pivotal names hulk who supplies an alleyway beat down, a righteous do good singer/soldier and a hairy aloof Johnny Five (Garrett Hedlund) who just doesn’t give a shit.
With many intertwined themes running throughout, the most obvious the cat or cats who are lost and found that seems to spark subtle changes in luck but for every step forwards there are two steps back.
It brings together significant elements from the early ‘60s scene through the missed opportunities and run of bad luck of one mild mannered and beaten down folk singer, it seems that his downfall is merely a catalyst for the Greenwich scene. The un-named sacrifice.
Skilfully filmed with a grand cast and exceptional script, even if your not into folk music, there isn’t enough singing to turn this into a musical. It’s bleak yet funny having a complex back story smartly embroidered all over. It’s charming as well as being dark, another triumph for the Coens.
You are certain to miss much during the first viewing and it’s a charm the second time around.
Rating : 10/10
R: A Serious Man (2009) O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) Nebraska (2013) This must be the place (2011)
Q: “Folk singer with a cat, you queer?”
“Your like king Midas’s idiot brother”
“This will interest you”
BS: I really adore a simple scene where Llewyn is in the car with the cat on his lap, and him and cat move together throughout the scene..
OST: Live singing by Oscar Isaac throughout!
L: Musicians in film, Musicians on film, Road Trips, Cats on Film,
5B: John Goodman, Coen Movies
DGI: Knock a shot for all of Llewyn’s bad luck.. I’m sure he could do with one too.