Friday, January 24, 2014

Inside Llewyn Davis Review

Friday, January 24, 2014

Directors: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Written by: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman
Time: 104 Minutes
Release Date: 24th January

The Coen Brothers are back with another brilliant character filled pic. This time it's about the talented and equally arrogant and unsuccessful Llewyn Davis. We get to follow him for a week in 1961 New York where he's aware that he's got no more chances left in making the breakthrough as a solo artist.

He even extends his pursuit to Chicago and hitches a ride with a fellow musician Roland (John Goodman) and his mysterious companion Johnny Five (Garrett Hedlung). Coen brothers have truly embraced the Odysseus story, and is taking Llewyn on a journey far away, and back to show the setbacks and the curious characters he meets on the way.

Llewyn is homeless in New York, thanks to friends' sofas to sleep on and the ability to shamelessly ask strangers for favours. It is an ongoing opposite of a success story story about misfortune and failing that we are only shown glimpses of. Inside Llewyn Davis tells both a back story and a possible look into the future of Llewyn in only 100 minutes. Despite this, there is no real finality to the flick, it raises far more questions than answers, but that's the Coen way.

A mishap with his friend's (Justin Timberlake) girlfriend Jane (Carey Mulligan) requires him to get hold of money asap. Drive co-star Mulligan plays the antagonistic and frustratingly angry Jean who is the leader of the abusers of Llewyn. Oscar Isaac is great as the bitter singer/songwriter whose downfall lies in the fact that his glasses aren't as rose-tinted as the ones who are successful around him.

It's a gorgeously shot film with an engaging story and a sublime lead who carries the film without fault. The music is nice, and for folk music lovers it will even be amazing. While Coen films have always been quirky and different, Inside Llewyn Davis proves to be even less commercial than previous films. Isaac is so brilliant, and Inside Llewyn Davis is so beautiful that its absence at the award shows this year has been a real surprise. If the Oscars don't want Isaac then we don't want the Oscars.


We loved the performances and the Coenesque ability to think outside the box with both story and pace.

We didn't like the painfully annoying Jean, there's got to be more to her than just pure evil.

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