Inside Llewyn Davis
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett, Adam Driver, Stark Sands, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham
Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a struggling folk singer whose life is less than glamorous. He has no money – instead he has a floundering solo album. He doesn’t have an apartment – instead he crashes on friends’ couches until they kick him out. He doesn’t have a girlfriend – instead he sleeps with Jean (Carey Mulligan) who is actually with Jim (Justin Timberlake). And Jean is pregnant and needs an abortion because she really doesn’t want Llewyn’s child. So Llewyn has to figure out a way to make it happen.
Inside Llewyn Davis breaks my Coen Brothers rule: I usually only ever like every other film they make and it wouldn’t have been their turn to be liked, but it worked out that way anyway. I was enchanted by Llewyn and the hypnotically slow pace of the film.
Ever since Agora, Oscar Isaac’s name on anything was a definite draw for me and I’m glad that he finally got an actual, amazing leading part in a big production. And he has no problem carrying it at all. Not only is his acting wonderful and his Llewyn in equal parts to be pitied, slapped, liked and hated, he also has an amazing voice.
And oh, the music. Not only was it beautifully performed, it was generally beautiful music. (Also, this happened because of it.)
But the music wasn’t only great and an important part of the movie, the entire film was like a folk song. It didn’t have any great crescendos, it wasn’t quickly paced. It was quiet. It was rather sad and it kept hitting the same notes, including actual repetitions.
As such it probably means that it isn’t easily accessible. I could have seen myself being alienated by Llewyn or the pacing or the (lack of) plot but somehow those exact parts ended up being the things I loved the most about it.
Summarizing: Definitely give it a try.