Howdy ladies and gentlemen, we’re reviewing films today and I’m going to be talking about Inside Llewyn Davis. I saw the trailer for this film around a month ago and knew I had to see it, especially since it was film from the Coen brothers. So how was the film? Read on and find out.
The story follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles – some of them of his own making. Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, scaring up what work he can find, Llewyn’s misadventures take him from the basket houses of the village to an empty Chicago club – on an odyssey to audition for music mogul Bud Grossman – and back again.
I liked the story, it was filled with humour, drama and all that good stuff that make Coen brothers films worth watching, that being said I did not like nearly as much as I thought I would and the story unfolded in a way unlike what I was expecting. The film chronicles Llewyn Davis’ travels and longing for a career in the music business and the road is bumpy and it makes for a very interesting and compelling, if somewhat melancholy adventure. For a while I was trying to figure out “What make this film so good?” Then there was a turning point where something happens with Llewyn which make me say in this film, “Now I know why people like this film.” Also even though the film was good, it kind of left me on a bit of a downer and I’m not overly keen on feeling low after a film experience.
When it comes to the cast they are all very impressive with some very special highlights. Oscar Isaac is amazing as Llewyn Davis. Issac acts with such passion, raw emotion and you’re drawn to him when he gets really down in the dumps or sings his heart out. Llewyn’s life is a joke, it really is. I don’t know anyone who could survive or move around the way he does and at times you wonder how he isn’t in worse situations that he is or just dead. While his irresponsible behaviour and recklessness make him a bit unlikable, in the end he a guy with a dream and issues from his past that mess with his emotions and you just want to see him succeed. Another great performance comes from Carey Mulligan as Jean Berkey, I think this is the best I’ve seen from Mulligan and I’m starting to become a fan of hers. What I really liked was how far removed this was from the norm for her and how Mulligan could balance the subtle and full-on aspects of her dialogue and emotions.
Also John Goodman as Roland Turner was great and hilarious. While Turner was a bit of a douchebag he had some funny stuff to say and I wonder especially in the last few years, is there a time when John Goodman isn’t on-form as an actor? I would like to know. Garrett Hedlund was decent as Johnny Five but I felt like he was barely in the film and was kind of boring, but at least he looked cool as hell though. Justin Timberlake was also good as Jim Berkey and I really liked he music moments too, but maybe that’s just because I’m a JT fan haha. And the only other mention I wanted to give was to Ethan Phillips who was lovely as Mitch Gorfein, Philips was a delight, but just like when I was watching Philomena the other day I knew I’d seen his face before but I couldn’t pinpoint it. Only after looking online do I know he’s frigging Neelix from Star Trek: Voyager, yes man, I love it, the role in this film is kind of similar actually.
Also the soundtrack was INCREDIBLE and in my opinion the best part of the whole film. That’s not to say all the other elements are terrible in comparison, but listen, once you hear this music, you feel a certain level of warmth, serenity, humour, beauty, sadness and other such emotions at different points or maybe all at once. I’ve never been big on folk music, though I have been known to enjoy bits and bobs from time to time, but I think this film may be the one to convert me as there are some truly beautiful pieces of music to be found here. Bottom line, the music is amazing and I think I’ll get the soundtrack for sure.
In conclusion Inside Llewyn Davis is really, really good but it wasn’t the kind of film I was expecting. I really liked the script and the performances from the cast were great, but it is the music that won me over. While I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would, it still a great film and one that I recommend just for the music alone.
Rating: 8/10 (A dramatic story with a great cast)
Sow what did you think of Inside Llewyn Davis? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 😀