With a brutal New York winter as the backdrop, morose folksinger Llewyn Davis struggles to find success and keep his life in order among the blossoming Greenwich Village folk scene of the early sixties.
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Joel & Ethan at their most stylistically consistent (and dour); "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a moody, mature, understated tone-poem of a film that bravely laments a world where talent and success don't always (or even often) go hand-in-hand. What is the price of artistic integrity? Further proof that Isaac -- with his world-weary eyes and contemplative frown -- is one of the most versatile actors working today.
This is Coen-lite. It has those moments where you recognize the style, but I don't think there was as much ambition here. Which is fine. All of the acting was great, and I loved Carey Mulligan as a bit of a grouch. I thought it was similar to 'House of Blue Leaves' by Guare. Many are called but few are chosen.
As Llewyn career falls down the drain, the movie loses the strength it had on the beginning and suddenly you don't care anymore about crybaby Oscar Isaac. You just ask yourself, where the hell is Gorfein's cat?
Hard to be a hero when you're hungry and cold and don't know where to sleep at nights. Llewyn should have gone to Florida and given it a try there. That's what I'd have done had I been in his place. On the other side, I didn't become George Clooney either. But the fact is that I didn't try very hard. After all, I don't care. Highly recommended.
One of the few American films of the last 16 years that possesses the same textured, lived in quality of a novel. The viewer gets the sense that this world and these characters have existed long before the first frame and will continue long after. There's something subversive about the script's notion that frustrated purists who find commercial success elusive may, more often than not, be their own worst enemies.
I dislike American folk music the way some people have an aversion to patchouli. Also, my beloved cat passed away the day before I saw this, which negated any possibility of empathizing with Llewyn for his animal cruelty. That I can still give this film 3 stars is a testament to the Coens' gifts. The maddeningly simple yet spellbinding Sisyphean loop will not leave my brain.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Inside Llewyn Davis wasn't at all what I expected but that's neither good or bad here. Very little in the way of the Coens' fingerprints here but the music and cast were great. Oscar Issac was great but by the end and despite probably the point of the movie Davis is just too much of a dick for me to sign off on the movie as a whole. This was like O Brother Where Art Thou's humorless asshole son.
Had it not been for my implicit trust in the Coen brothers to transcend even the most unpromising materials, the insipid simu-folk that opens and over-occupies this film would have proven unstomachable. But the old alchemy still works; the meowbius strip narrative gains gravity as it goes, finding its own curious rhythm as it develops into another anti-saga of the hero's inertia.