Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen brothers are back with a movie that is entirely their own. Set in Greenwich Village in 1961, the story follows Llewyn Davis, a folk singer who struggles to exist. Living on the couches of his friends and family, he faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles, mostly of his own creation. He drinks too much, loves everybody too little, starting with himself. His journey to become someone, or at least somebody else, is full of fantastic and comical hazards.
Once again, the Coens inspect a piece of America at a certain time in its history and give it an all-new dimension that is both poetic and cynical, dark but funny. From the smoky Gaslight Café to the snowy Chicago, via the classy Upper East Side, the directors focus their camera on weird but moving characters, each seeming more lost than the other. Thanks to Bruno Delbonnel’s photography, spectators feel they are looking at a beautiful picture album from the early 60s.
The dialogue is deliciously sharp and amusingly violent, and delivered by quite a cast: Carey Mulligan is surprising as a young bitter folk singer, Justin Timberlake is impeccable in his well-ironed polo shirt and well-brushed hair, while Garrett Hedlund and John Goodman are as weird as they are perfect. But the most spectacular revelation of the movie is its main character, played by Oscar Isaac, who seems able to do everything – act, sing, even play the guitar. His emotions are exhibited throughout the feature, as he sings his heart out, carrying a cat named Ulysses (that’s not actually his) and struggling to get a gig.
A melancholic feature with metaphoric allusions, Inside Llewyn Davis seems like a hidden love message from one brother Coen to the other, imagining what life would be like without the other. Bohemian life has never seemed so cruelly funny.
Inside Llewyn Davis is released in the UK on 24th January 2014.
Watch the trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis here: