Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Written and Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund
Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is a folk singer trying to make it in Greenwich Village in 1961. After losing his partner he’s looking to establish himself in the music business. His search leads him on a very revealing and often painful personal journey.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that the Coen brothers (Miller’s Crossing) can do anything in their films. From murder and mayhem, to music and mischief their movies are a great example of the intense creativity held between the two of them. Inside Llewyn Davis is another successful film from the duo. This takes their style in a new direction, bringing a realistic version of the sixties into a very intense personal drama.
This cast is filled with recognizable faces that all bring something special to the film. The star of the movie is Oscar Isaac (Drive), who brings Llewyn to life with a hidden angst and frustration that’s easily related to. This is paired up nicely with Carey Mulligan’s (The Great Gatsby) performance. Her role brings out another kind of anger that seems to drive the energy of the film perfectly.
The film also features a number of unique supporting roles that seem to come from totally different places throughout the film. This includes the roles played by Justin Timberlake (Trouble with the Curve), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski), and Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers). Each of the characters seems to bring a different element to the film, making each moment stand out on its own.
The music in this film is fantastic. The soundtrack includes original songs and established music all put together under the supervision of T-Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart). Some of the songs are powerful and filled with emotion, really lending their tone to the overall feel of the movie. Here is one of my favorite songs from the film:
The Coen brothers did a wonderful job with this script. Despite being a movie about a musician, I don’t think I’d consider this movie to be about the music. Instead it relies on the frustration of the business of music. The story is wonderfully told through the sad eyes of Llewyn Davis. The characters seem to be easily disliked at first, but all of them seem to develop into something more.
Overall, this is an incredible movie. It’s one that I’d go back to see again and again since it seems to be have a number of themes and emotions running through it. If you’re a fan of the stars of the movie, you need to see this film. I would also recommend this to anyone who loves music. The soundtrack is nearly perfect for the film and really worked to accentuate the story. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.
Mainly proves that the Coens can practically do whatever it is that they want, and it will come out to become cinematic-gold. Nice to see that old age is treating them very kind. Good review Jeff.
Thanks again! I do love the Coen brothers, and now I have one more reason.
Aside from the manic joy of The World’s End, this was my favorite film of the year. Glad you enjoyed it so much!
Thanks! I was surprised at the overall execution of the story since it went in directions I didn’t expect. It’s definitely one of the best films of 2013.