If there is one thing that Joel and Ethan Coen can do, its tell a story unlike any other, with the most interesting and memorable characters. Their new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, never shy’s away from the interesting plot line, along with its memorable characters and delivers a beautifully crafted love letter to the folk music and the artists who struggle all their lives with their music.
Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a homeless folk musician, hopping from couch to couch, playing a local cafe a few nights a week in Greenwich Village.
Oscar Isaac is exceptional, such a star making performance. Oscar Isaac has played guitar and sang in one of his previous films, “10 Years” which is also a great film, and how could we forget him in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, where him and Carey Mulligan share the screen as they do in Inside Llewyn Davis. Carey Mulligan is terrific as Irene, a former friend of Llewyn, and girlfriend to Justin Timberlake’s Jim, who is still friends with Llewyn. John Goodman plays Roland Turner, a man who doesn’t seem to stop talking unless he’s asleep, allows Llewyn to hitch a ride to Chicago, with him and his man of few words drive, Johnny Five, played by Garrett Hedlund.
The music in the film is a character all in its own. Isaac, Mulligan, Timberlake and as well as other performers, performed all of the films music live, which are for the most part old folk songs. The Coen Brothers have stated that Dave Van Ronk’s music inspired them to write the screenplay. Music producer T-Bone Burnett does all of the films music with the help of Marcus Mumford, frontman for Mumford and Sons.
The Coen Brothers do not have one bad film in my opinion. The Big Lebowski still remains at the top of my all time favorite films, and one of its man quotable lines inspired the title for this film review blog. The brothers flawlessly capture the sixties, from the dull, grey textures, to the costumes and sets. Such a spectacular, simple film. I give Inside Llewyn Davis an “A+”