On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Inside Llewyn Davis

2013/ USA

Director(s): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Starring: Oscar Isaacs, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund

The Coen brothers have done it again. That is they have created a movie masterpiece.

Inside Llewyn Davis follows the familiar Coen Brothers format of the story of the loser, who is a tragic, yet brilliant, character that the film is named after. Think The Big Lebowski and Barton Fink.

The film begins at a point where Davis’, portrayed by Oscar Isaacs (Drive, The Bourne Legacy), is trying to break out of his monotonous life of being an anonymous Folk singer. Who is he? Well no one really knows, and this idea of recognition is ever present in the film. What we do know though, is that he plays guitar and sings folk music. Unfortunately for Davis he lives in the shadow of the great Bob Dylan. The story itself is based, albeit very loosely, on Dave Van Ronk, (a mentor of Dylan’s if you didn’t know. I had to look it up), who remained in the depths of a local dive bar, whilst Dylan rose to fame.

A brilliant cameo from the Coen’s favourite, John Goodman, adds comedic value. He plays debonair Jazzman Roland Turner, an obnoxious man who contributes to the question of recognition by asking Davis what he does for a living, Davis simply replies “folk music”, to which Jazzman replies, condescendingly, “Folk music? I thought you said you were a musician…” Just one of the many great moments that this film offers.  Carey Mulligan, who co-starred with Isaacs in Drive, stars as Jean, part of a folk singing duet with Jim, (Justin Timberlake, who puts in a surprisingly good, and funny, performance), who is also her boyfriend. However there are some questions to be asked about Jean’s loyalty to Jim, but I’ll let you judge for yourself when you see the film.

There is nothing really more I can say about this film, because it would just take away the pleasure of watching it for yourself. It is fantastically acted, every actor makes their character their own. There are a fantastic amount of moments that you think will go one way, but will end up throwing you off balance, never doubting the directing one bit. There is never a dull moment in this movie, it will have you buckled over in laughter one minute, and have you shedding a tear the next. It really is that good. The music as well compliments the magnificence of the film, and will have people in the cinema absent-mindedly singing along.  A film that battles Fargo for top spot in my favourite Coen brothers film list. If it does not win an Academy Award, then an injustice has been done. (Uh!) Oh!, and look out for the recording booth scene, you wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.

-Zak Gibson

5/5

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2 comments on “Inside Llewyn Davis

  1. Lyndon Barnett
    January 27, 2014

    It’s Dave Van Ronk–

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This entry was posted on January 27, 2014 by in New Releases.
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