Inside Llewyn Davis

Surprised myself by not loving this. It was absolutely gorgeous; the composition and choreography of each shot were so pretty and heightened I almost felt woozy. And I was perfectly willing to give prickly, aimless Llewyn my full attention as he goes on a somewhat elliptical odyssey in search of stardom, recognition, or failing that, a paycheck. But ultimately I found the film, and the music, capable but dull.

The exceptions were those moments when Llewyn is playing his own solo material, which is soulful and grief-stricken. We start to get a peek 'inside' him at these points, but that's exactly what nobody finds interesting or bankable. The film ends by acknowledging the shadow hanging over Davis the entire time - Bob Dylan in 1961, about to catch one of the 20th century's most massive waves of popularity. In that sense the story is a tale of bitter regret, an epic fool's errand. But since the directors don't seem to be angling at unveiling all that emotion, what we're left with is a visually sumptuous but impenetrably slick experience.

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