Deckard🥃’s review published on Letterboxd:
After finally seeing Inside Llewyn Davis, I can only say that it is one of the most brilliant films to come out of 2013 and some of the Coen's best work in quite some time. Inside Llewyn Davis is about a folk singer making his way through New York in 1961 trying to make a name for himself.
Like most of their work, The Coen Brothers deliver a richly filled film with a delightful soundtrack, wonderful directing, and outstanding acting. Oscar Issac plays Llewyn Davis, the folk singer who is trying to make it after the abrupt death of his singing partner, which leaves him struggling to push harder and harder and causes him to think about leaving the scene altogether. Delivering a damn fine performance as an actor and folk musician in the film, that leaves you sucked in and interested the whole time.
The rest of the cast includes Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, Justin Timberlake, and John Goodman. With limited screen time, each of those actors deliver fine enough performances to make you care about them and are relevant enough to the story. Also worth mentioning how much I liked Mulligan's character and her looked; though she was fantastic.
The Coen's script is perfect as it takes you in the life of a musician over the course of a week and shows you the pained, struggling journey. The music is a marvel to behold, T Bone Burnett crafts together a soundtrack with the Coens that perfectly tells the story of Folk Music and even moves the pace along subtly. Coen's brother regular, Roger Deakins doesn't return to shoot the film, instead is Bruno Delbonnel, who presents us this largely, icy, cold, yet heart warming (in a strange way)) look of a film.
It's also worth mentioning that there really isn't a plot in the film. That certainly doesn't mean it's bad, because it sure as hell isn't, but it explains why my initial synopsis was rather short. The narrative is a rather unconventional one, and while there are characters with their backgrounds, we are instead focusing on only one; Llewyn, and his week in 1961 New York.
It's been a while before I've seen a Coen Brothers film that sucked me in and practically swept me away, the last film to do so was ,No Country For Old Men. Inside Llewyn Davis is a journey of a film, and will definitely get better and better upon each subsequent viewing.