The Coen brothers have a wry twinkle in their eyes as they take us on a lyrical journey with a hugely likeable musician for whom success is only barely out of reach. It's also an engaging exploration of both the the early 1960s New York folk music scene that gave us Bob Dylan and the tenacity it takes to make your dreams come true.
It's 1961, and Llewyn Davis (Isaac) isn't sure he wants to fight anymore. His career has stalled, and he's moving from couch to couch trying to pick up gigs. But he doesn't have anything to lose, and when he inadvertently acquires a pet cat he has a bit of purpose for a change. On the other hand, his longtime friendship with husband-and-wife folk duo Jim and Jean (Timberlake and Mulligan) is strained when Jean tells him she's pregnant with a child that might be his. In need of cash, he takes a job in Chicago, taking a long road-trip with two nutcases (Hedlund and Goodman). And he even considers re-enlisting in the Merchant Marines.
Despite Llewyn's quiet desperation, the Coens keep the film's tone light and endearing, with constant comical touches that keep us smiling right to the cleverly elliptical ending. They also pack the movie with folk music that's gorgeously produced by T Bone Burnett, offering emotive counterpoints to Llewyn's sardonic sense of humour. His snappy wit often gets him into trouble, but we can immediately see his depth of character as well, and Isaac is terrific in the role, the kind of guy we would happily spend a lot more time with.
Continue reading: Inside Llewyn Davis Review
Oscar Isaac, the main star of music drama 'Inside Llewyn Davis', was snapped on the red carpet at the movie's premiere at the 2013 New York Film Festival. He was joined by his co-stars Jeanine Serralles, Max Casella and Stark Sands with his wife Gemma Clarke. The movie was the winner of the Grand Prize of the Jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Llewyn Davis is a struggling folk musician attempting to find his place in the world by scouring New York's Greenwich Village at the height of folk in 1961. Along the way he meets old friends who are not particularly happy to see him because of his own unresolved mistakes in the past, and while he strives to find a venue to do what he loves doing, hitchhiking across roads in the freezing winter with a beat-up guitar and a homeless cat, he is forced to question not only himself as a person, but also where and what he really wants his future to be.
'Inside Llewyn Davis' is an emotional musical drama written and directed by Oscar winners Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, aka The Coen Brothers ('No Country for Old Men', 'True Grit', 'Fargo'). It has been very loosely based on the posthumous 2005 memoirs 'The Mayor of MacDougal Street' by the late New York folk artist Dave Van Ronk, and has been nominated to compete for the sought after Palme d'Or prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. This passionate story about love, music, finding oneself and learning from one's mistakes will hit screens in the UK on January 24th 2014.
April 2021 may have been one of the coldest in 60 years, but there were still enough hot releases to warm our hearts and fuel our fires.