Justin JM (kind of inactive, kind of not)’s review published on Letterboxd:
A tragic story about a struggling musician in the 1960s. It's raw and powerful, but also sends quite the depressing message of struggling for our art.
We follow Llewyn Davis, a struggling artist who has a lot of talent in him, as he tries to make it through an opportunity to follow his dream. However, he starts from the bottom. He doesn't have a dime to his name, nor does he have a home; what he does have though is talent.
No one else seems to recognize this, which makes it harder for him to survive. However, he embarks on a journey to sell his record.
For a movie like this, there really isn't much of a plot. Instead, it's more about Llewyn Davis himself and what he has to deal with. If you were to ask me to describe the movie in chronological order, I really couldn't. It's all centered around the titular character.
This man is our tragic hero. Whatever he wants to do, never seems to work. The world is against him; they want to be entertained, not enlightened. He never wants to sell out, he wants to make art. However, the world doesn't want art.
This results in a character that is so broken...so lonely and depressed, that I really could not look away from the screen. I was hypnotized by it even. The useless scenes never seemed useless, in fact, they were really engaging, all because they involved our titular character in it. He was a very interesting character to see unfold on screen.
The movie reflects our world a bit. The world seems bleak, as emphasized by its dull colors and the jerks that inhabitant it. People suffer for their art, but they almost never get what they wanted for it. Is it better to sell out? Or is it better to give in?
It's not a perfect movie. There are some pacing issues with scenes that seem to drag on forever. That may bother some people, but I for one, don't care when we have a story this good. The plot may not be going anywhere, but I don't care. I was still very much engrossed with the film and I would very much recommend it.