Inside Llewyn Davis
A week in the life of a talented but struggling singer-songwriter as he navigates New York's folk music scene in 1961.
The Good: Mesmerizing performance from Oscar Isaac. He absolutely owns the role and damn can he sing. John Goodman is also amusing in his cameo as a grumpy jazz musician. Cinematography is beautiful, which is no surprise since it's from the same guy who shot Amélie and Across the Universe—Bruno Delbonnel. Soundtrack is fantastic. Best soundtrack of the year. If you're a fan of folk music (like me), I'm pretty sure you'll love it. It also turns out that Oscar Isaac himself wrote the songs, which makes it even more amazing. (If he gets nominated for both Best Actor and Best Original Song, which he will, will that be a first?)
Shaggy dog masters that they are, the Coens nevertheless do not make an audience work too hard to figure out what the gist of their pictures are. The cat's name only makes explicit what is all but open to begin with, that this is the Ulysses to O BROTHER's Odyssey, trading an expansive journey of purpose set against the vastness of nature for a mired, circuitous urban trek to find a purpose at all. So many are (rightfully) praising the dreamy-wintery Greenwich Village that seems in Bruno Delbonnel's aestheticization to roll into the rest of New York in a fog as if Brigadoon, but its haze is as threatening as it is inviting. It makes Greenwich into Joyce's Dublin, a…
a hell of a lot of truth in this. a hell of a lot of truth. broad cuts at the divide between living & simply being alive, but perhaps more than anything else a gently devastating look at how people change (or how they don't). need to let this one kick around (and will surely revisit a ridiculous number of times over the years) but already comfortable saying that it's up there with the the Coen brothers' very best.
"Inside Llewyn Davis" is a bleakly humorous tale only the Coens could have told. It's not a story about success or a guy who's remotely likable. It's about a guy living the lifestyle he expresses through his music, and for a huge music fan like myself it's about as investing as filmmaking gets.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to see one of my most anticipated films of the year in an early screening at Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival. I really admire the Coen Brothers work and I couldn't wait to see it. When I heard that Inside Llewyn Davis was opening the Festival I ran to the ticket offices to buy my ticket.
Inside Llewyn Davis left me full of different emotions throughout the story. I was happy, I was sad, I was frustrated, I was moved, it broked my heart but also made me laugh hard sometimes! I almost can't explain exactly how much I loved it.
Llewyn Davis is a frustrated folk singer, he can't succeed in…
Well, it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
Even you don't know by now
And it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It'll never do somehow
Helaas kan niet iedereen Bob Dylan zijn.
Joel en Ethan Coen zijn al 25 jaar één van de grootste namen van de Amerikaanse film. Niet al hun films zijn even goed of even toegankelijk, maar wanneer je een film van de Coens kijkt, kun je er over het algemeen op vertrouwen dat je iets bijzonders en afwijkends gaat zien. Hoewel ze in veel verschillende genres hebben gewerkt, hebben ze toch op al hun films een eigen stempel weten te drukken. Hun films worden onder andere gekenmerkt door hun absurdistische humor en tragikomische personages. Daarnaast presenteren ze de wereld, zeker in hun laatste paar films, als oncontroleerbaar en chaotisch. In hun meest recente films komt dit wellicht het beste naar voren in A Serious Man. Wie een fan was van die film zal ook zeker kunnen genieten van Inside Llewyn Davis.
Lees hier de hele recensie:
Inside Llewyn Davis - Recensie
Really hoping I'll be less disappointed by the second half (starting with the road trip) on second viewing. But I also think The Big Lebowski is absolutely brilliant for an hour and then falls apart, so this isn't unprecedented. In any case, for now, here's the review from Cannes.
A small film but truly a great one. Terrific music, spot on performance from Oscar Issac, funny and sad, maybe my favorite of the year so far.
And sticks the landing... the last 10-15 minutes are masterful.
Masterful performance by Oscar Isaac. It's unfortunate that there is no story.
4 out of 5 (B+)
"I'm so fucking tired."
Most figures in the entertainment industry will tell you that the road to success is laden with bumps and potholes, but hard work and persistence will prevail. What they'll purposefully neglect to mention are the sinkholes that swallow up so many aspiring artists, even those whose talent is evident. Who better then to tell a story of successive failures than Joel and Ethan Coen, whose filmography contains a wealth of sad sack individuals in existential crisis? Llewyn Davis is their newest misanthrope, and the story of his travails fits squarely into their wheelhouse. Dark yet soulful, specific to a time and place yet ambiguous, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is one of the Coens' finer films, supported by a melancholy turn from Oscar Isaac and a stellar soundtrack.
My full review is here:
O Brother, Where Art Thou? claimed to be “based upon The Odyssey, by Homer," a link explicitly picked up here when the missing cat Llewyn Davis has been looking for most of the movie returns home — and his name is Ulysses! But the continuity's also musical, Joel Coen told Robert Christgau: “If you trace it back far enough it's all Americana, the same kind of music, the same family tree [...] We felt the folk music revival of the ’50s was in part a revival of the traditional American folk musical forms we'd always been aware of and loved." I wrote a little bit about the Coens' T-Bone Burnett collaborations here, but the bottom line is I think the…