If you are familiar at all with the 1960's folk scene you'll relish the new Coen brothers film, "Inside Llewyn Davis." And if folk music is not your thing, don't worry, there's a story here that will capture your attention and give you lots to think about,
Folk singer, Llewyn Davis played wonderfully by Oscar Isaac, is playing a small Greenwich Village Club where the camera peers through the smokey haze created by an attentive audience sitting at small tables listening to his rendition of the gloomy traditional tune, "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me." He accepts their applause, but doesn't seem particularly moved by it.
We learn quickly that Llewyn doesn't have a home. He crashes on whatever couch or floor is offered, lugging his guitar and bag of clothes from door to door. While babysitting a cat, he leaves a window open and winds up searching the city for the lost feline. Llewyn is a lost soul, mainly of his own doing. You get furious at some of his decisions but can't stay mad at him for long. Is it really all his fault?
As with most Coen brothers films there are accompanying characters that provide some rich and rewarding moments. John Goodman does another one of those patented cameos, this time as a drug addicted jazz musician who hates folk music. Justin Timberlake plays Llewyn's best friend, whose wife, well played by Carey Mulligan, is also an important part of the story.
At times it's a very funny talein a bleak sort of way and the talents of T. Bone Burnett who put the music together always bring us back to reality. I saw "Inside Llewyan Davis" early Saturday afternoon (12/21) and have been wracking my brain ever since to come up with a phrase that might sum up the experience and now (Noon on 12/22) I think I have it. Watching this movie is like to going to a good old fashioned Irish wake. We can't do anything for the intended, but we sure can have fun reliving his life.
Time: 105 minutes
Rating: "R" for language including some sexual references
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