🌌’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is slowly becoming one of my favorite movies, timidly making its way into my heart and settling down in a dear, special place inside it. The ambience. The perfomances. The directing. The songs. Everything adds up to bring a perfectly built, perfectly sensitive film that wraps you in its streets and nostalgia.
The Coen brothers' folk atmosphere is beautiful, a 60s view of the world that is fogged with cigarette smoke, borrowed couches and hitchhikes; all that with a on-going camera and faded colors makes you wish you lived there, even if only for a while.
The songs could not have been picked better. Directed on point, they they give you such peace when they start and end in one scene - when you think it’s only going to be a short verse -, and watching Oscar’s serenity (and little eye wrinkle) when he plays warms my heart completely. I sing and listen to these songs practically every day.
And well, Oscar Isaac conquered my heart a long ago, but his perfomance in this one shakes my core every time I rewatch it. I dare say it’s one of the bests of 2013 and one of my favorites now. His palpable tiredness, one that seems to vanish the second he touches the strings of a guitar, grows throughout the minutes and his voice and manners hipnotizes you so you can’t take your eyes of the screen even if you tried. His pride and passion blows up in his superior manner and deniability of the folk’s age decadency, but still holds an undeniable love for what he does as he never seems to give up - even when he says he’ll do so, you know he won’t. It’s mesmerizing. Plus, I could watch him chase cats for hours.
All in all, the Coen brothers really made their way through my heart - not only with this one, but I’m growing fond of their movies more and more. This one is their far best. And I’m very thankful for it and for the casting of Oscar Isaac, for there would be no one so Llewyn as he so wonderfully is.