By Chuck Wilson
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Carolina Del Busto
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Michael Atkinson
By Calum Marsh
Folk music is supposed to be the music of the people. Yet at the heart of Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, set in New York in the winter of 1961, is a folksinger with no feeling for people. Llewyn Davis, played by Oscar Isaac, is a broke, rumpled moocher who drifts from couch to couch until there are no couches left — either by drinking too much and getting rude or simply by opening his mouth to let his hostile thoughts flow out, he has a talent for alienating every friend he's got. He's also a gifted singer, the remaining half of a semi-successful duo that has broken apart with no hope of reuniting, but it's clear he's not going to be a hitmaker — the material he chooses leans toward traditional weepers about mourning dead lovers or ballads about young boys heading off to sea, music carried to America from the dark soul of the British Isles. If Llewyn had a bell, he most definitely would not ring it in the morning; he'd be too hungover, or at least just too pissed off at the world.
Llewyn is in many ways a dreadful human being, but you can't turn away from him. The Coens seem to love him, too: Inside Llewyn Davis is the warmest picture they've ever made, and though it will never attract the cultlike adoration of The Big Lebowski and Fargo, or earn the serious-lit-adaptation accolades of No Country for Old Men, it's possibly their best. Taking place over just a few days, it evokes a fleeting time, place, and vibe: The Village folk scene of the early 1960s, anchored around a few cavelike, no-frills clubs, was changed forever once Bob Dylan set foot on it — he was too explosive for it to contain him. But before that, in the heyday of Dave Van Ronk, a scruffy folk luminary who never became a true star, it was much more intimate. That pre-Dylan world, the setting for Inside Llewyn Davis, may be very small, but Llewyn is lost in it.
In the opening scene, Llewyn gets beaten up — for reasons that aren't clear until the end — in the alley behind one of the little clubs he's just played. Shortly thereafter, he loses a cat belonging to the friends who have generously put him up for a night, a lovely marmalade fellow with a question mark for a tail. And when he shows up at the doorstep of another friend, fellow folk singer Jean (Carey Mulligan), we get an even better sense of his ability to alienate people. She's furious, a thundercloud in a turtleneck and shaggy blunt bangs. As it turns out, even though she's the live-in (and singing) partner of another friend (played, wonderfully, by a super-earnest Justin Timberlake), she and Llewyn have a history. You can see why: Llewyn is devastatingly handsome in a Sephardic way, the kind of damaged goods some women can't help falling for. But Jean need only lay eyes on him before cutting him dead — she takes just like a woman, yes she does.
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Llewyn has already screwed everything up. Why stop now? Though Inside Llewyn Davis is essentially a New York movie, in a desperate effort to grab the attention of a hotshot record producer (F. Murray Abraham in a beatnik goatee), Llewyn takes a road trip to Chicago, hitching a ride with a surly big-daddy jazz cat (John Goodman) and his too-cool-for-school minder (Garret Hedlund). But Llewyn's real odyssey takes place deep inside: As Isaac plays him, he's a punky lost lamb in need of saving, though no one can get close enough to do it; his eyes say "come closer" even as he's kicking away mightily. He's impatient with stupidity, both real and perceived. But he has a capacity for tenderness, too. It's certainly there in his singing — Isaac does his own, in a voice that's dusky and sad but also luminous as the moon. He's a character in mourning, both for another person and for lost parts of himself. The latter are harder to get over.
Inside Llewyn Davis gets everything softly, quietly right. T-Bone Burnett supervised the music, and it never sounds as if it's been lifted out of some dusty vault — it's alive. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel gives us a half-tarnished, half-burnished vision of early 1960s New York, just dreamy enough, rather than laden with false nostalgia. The movie features one of the finest marmalade-cat performances since The Long Goodbye. (Technically, we're talking about several cats, but let's look the other way for the sake of movie magic.) And although the Coens are consummate craftsmen, they don't always show the lightness of touch or the depth of feeling they do here. Llewyn is suffering, and though we can't forsake him, it's hard not to laugh at his terrible misadventures. He's behaving badly in a typically New York kind of way, fumbling his way through his stress. Intentionally or otherwise, the Coens might be channeling the Hal Ashby of The Landlord, or Next Stop, Greenwich Village–era Paul Mazursky. Whatever they're doing, it's remarkable — cockeyed humanism at its best.
Credit: CBS Films
Cutline: Bringing It All Back Home: Oscar Isaac and friend
It's beautiful. RT @emilyg819: Inside Llewyn Davis is on netflix you people dont have excuses anymore
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) imdb.com/title/tt204256…
Five Hundred Miles - Inside Llewyn Davis: youtu.be/4DvG1DHkgo8
ダメ男の側にいたのはお酒でもなく、女でもなく、一匹の猫だった。不幸で地味なストーリーだけど、最初と最後のガスライトカフェシーンのライブが良すぎてグッとくる。音楽と猫好きにはタマラナイ作品でした🐱Inside Llewyn Davis🐱 pic.twitter.com/B9Z8nCSB4i
Inside Llewyn Davis is on netflix! Can they just go ahead and put all of the Coen brothers movies on here?
Inside Llewyn Davis: ever-dreamy Oscar Isaac as asshole 60s folk singer. Actors from Girls. A hilarious campy song. Is this Groundhog Day?
@JeanGreasy watch 'inside Llewyn Davis' Jean. You'll feel wonderful
Her and Inside Llewyn Davis are both playing for free at the open air cinema park in Copenhagen on August 10th and 11th.
Love most of the Coen Brothers' films (MILLER'S CROSSING in particular) but INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS is a yawn-fest #yikes
Inside Llewyn Davis (Sen Şarkılarını Söyle) “Sen Şarkılarını Söyle”yi biraz da yas sürecine dair, eskiye... fb.me/3o0yp3Bak
i haven't listened to the inside llewyn davis soundtrack in what feels like a month i need to remedy this situation
If you're a performer, artist or any kind of creative Inside Llewyn Davis is the scariest movie ever made.
Inside Llewyn Davis came out just when I had big doubts about my future as an "artist" (I don't like that word). It moved me deeply.
Inside Llewyn Davis - Van alle voorgaande Coen Brother films lijkt deze nog het meeste op ‘Barton Fink‘. jkleyngeld.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/ins…
Unpopular Opinion Tweet #3 Best OSTs 1. Inside Llewyn Davis 2. 500 Days Of Summer 3. Submarine 4. TPOBAW 5. Divergent? 6. A Lot Like Love
ლუინ დეივისის შიგნით — Inside Llewyn Davis ძმები კოენების 2013 წლის ფილმი. ფილმი აღწერს გამოგონილი... fb.me/3x5BJwvgP
Guerrilla House #117 - Inside Llewyn Davis guerrillahousecinema.com/2014/07/attent…
Just LOVE the way Justin Timberlake has sung and composed his version of Five Hundred Miles. Inside Llewyn Davis OST > O Brother WAT!m
Absolutely loving the soundtrack from inside Llewyn Davis at the moment. If you haven't heard it it's so worth a listen
Watching Inside Llewyn Davis — path.com/p/2sc4o7
Novo post: [Crítica] Inside Llewyn Davis - Balada de um Homem Comum bit.ly/1r7GoWD Confira
@SenoritaRebel6 ¿Inside Llewyn Davis? NO LA VI. ¿Tan mala es?
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