3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is very much a week in a life of musician Llewyn Davis, our main character lives on other peoples sofas in Greenwich Village (New York city) of the 1960s. He is struggling to make it as an artist, with cat in tow our Llewyn Davis needs to make his career a success, however, the odds are against him - much of the obstacles he faces are pretty much of his own making. He tries his best, to get whatever he can; he is very much beholden to both friends and strangers to eke out his living. His journey takes him from the Village to Chicago - to hopefully get a contract with a musical agent, one Bud Grossman.
For me this was subtle film the characters are all well drawn out, what you have is a decent and relatively original narrative. For this is a casual tragedy and hubris of the journeyman musician The Coen Brothers have made another pretty decent movie.You have to just love the cat that Davis takes pretty much everywhere in his travels. The odyssey of his journey and the misadventures we see him go through, are what makes this film really work. Add into the mix a very well done soundtrack, the film is cat friendly and the result makes for very good entertainment.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
So why have I given it 5 stars? The protagonist is unlikeable, the film sometimes falls into self indulgence and there is that lack of narrative drive that Coen Brothers movies sometimes lapse into. But, it also captures the life of the artist fantastically well. Oscar Isaac inhabits the part of Llewyn Davis to the extent that I simply can't imagine anyone else playing him. The other members of the cast also do a great job; Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman all play their parts well, but Isaac has the stand out performance. He is fascinating to watch, I found him a charismatic live performer, but his character hasn't found success and is wearing out the patience of friends as he camps on their sofas.
The Coen Brothers are without parallel in summoning up mood and investing places with poetry. I have watched this twice and will watch it again. It also benefits from having a great piece on the making of the film on the DVD which gaves some real insight into how the brothers work on their films.
If you like the more mood oriented Coen brothers films you'll like this, if you don't you won't.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Greenwich Village, New York City, 1961. 'Inside Llewyn Davis' charts a week in
the life of a sofa-hopping folk singer whose career has peeled apart following
the suicide of his musical partner. Mr Davis isn't an especially likeable character
and the story is somewhat slight by The Brothers Coen's usual standard but it
is watchable in a sombre, down-at-heel kind of way and the dark-hued depiction
of NYC's early sixties folk scene is lovingly recreated with a strong eye for detail.
There are some creditable cameos from John Goodman as junked-out jazzer
Roland Turner; a rather nervous looking Justin Timberlake as Jim Berkey
(another singer/songwriter) and Carey Mulligan as Jean, Mr Davis' on/off girlfriend.
The musical scenes in The Gaslight Cafe are affectionately drawn (the Arran-clad
vocal quartet are especially endearing) and as the film draws to a close we witness
a brief moment in Bob Dylan's ascendency just as Mr Davis would seem to have
nowhere else to go but down. The cat sub-plot makes for a little light relief however.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2014
This was sort of ok, but in the end I didn't really care what happened to Llewyn Davis - a curiously blank character who we certainly didn't get "inside". Perhaps that's the Coen's big “wood for the trees” gag here - there isn't anything inside Llewyn…har har de har…
No disrespect to T-Bone Burnett, but I also thought there were a few porkies being told in the "extras" doc about the "live" performance of the music. Come off it. I suspect what was unconvincingly referred to as “pre-recording” – portrayed as a rehearsal - was the soundtrack sessions that were subsequently dubbed over the acted performances. The giveaway here was letting slip that the expensive-looking studio was chosen specifically because it was one of the few left in NY that used analogue equipment. Presumably in an attempt to get “authentic” tape warmth on the finished product. If they weren’t going to use the recordings on the soundtrack why would that matter?
Oh, and what was that awfleh nyce Mumford cheppie doing involved with this - was that possibly because his missus (Carey Mulligan) insisted on him being along for the ride.....? Bizarre.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2014
Its not an action film, nothing really happens, if you don't like films like that (my girlfriend doesn't, she says its pointless) don't watch. I however love films like this. Its an exploration of character, the struggles of being a musician and having an artists temperament, oh yes and a ginger cat! Plus his voice is beautiful and features a lot of songs which I was absorbed into. A lovely gentle absorbing film that lets you sink into it.
on 29 May 2015
This indeed is well thought out piece of cinema,it is quite brilliant.I won't talk really about plot...my thoughts because there's so many reviews already.ill talk about thing that matter to people buy it on blue ray...picture quality our 1080p projector is great and really make the film while the audio is superb,well worth investigating in this blue ray.my one big gripe is a man with a name he can't pronounce,or for that fact anyone else.being welsh myself it's ridiculous for someone to have a welsh name that they can't pronounce...llewyn.its not like.."la-well-in".double l is pronounced like..."lcah_well-in....llewyn.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If I didn't already know this was a Coen brothers film I might not have realised it, though the hallmarks are all there - the darkly comedic spin to proceedings as the hapless, incredibly unlucky Davis struggles to both survive and try to achieve recognition as a performer while encountering a series of unfortunate events and a cast of flawed but believable characters.
The structure of the film captures Davis` merry-go-round situation as a talented but unrecognised folk singer, hampered by the indifference of the music business and his own particular character flaws. I suspect the cat is a metaphor for something but, y`know - it`s the Coens - their claim is that the cat is there to provide viewers with a focus because there isn't really a plot; can you take their glib statement at face value? There is a deliberate visual reference to an iconic cliché - look at the freewheelin` appropriation of imagery on the cover of the DVD (also consider the name of the venue on the right of the picture) and a few in-jokes about folk performers. This is all very playful, but it`s ultimately a bleak film, set in winter with a very subdued colour palette; the cinematography, writing and - of course - the music is excellent.
The acting at all levels is superb, even the minor roles are well-cast and spot-on.
Though set in Greenwich Village at the time of the folk revival, there isn't much of the creative buzz of the place in evidence, as the story concentrates on Davis` personal journey.
The Coens have chosen a fairly esoteric subject for this film; I don`t think it`s likely to appeal to a large viewership, but it`s a fine production all the same. I loved it - bleak though it is - as I`m sympathetic to the period and the music. If you`re from a generation too young to be familiar with this, you may find it tedious; feel free to deduct a star from my rating. If you don`t like folk music, deduct another; otherwise, this is a gem.
The film has a run-time of 1hour 40 mins., has audio descriptive subtitles (so you can sing along to "The Auld Triangle" if you wish) and has a 40 min. documentary as an extra.
on 6 June 2015
I was surprised to learn this was a comedy. Apart from one hilarious moment with the cat and something missing, it was a sorry tale of missed opportunities and misfortunes. Great music and cast. Many of the characters were not very likeable which made it less comic. I bought it for my interest in Dave van Ronk. I think I need to watch it again and will probably enjoy it more the second time. A very good period piece capturing the atmosphere of the Village in the 60's. Coen Brothers great directors. The extras showing you how it was made were particularly enjoyable.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A sweet period piece, this film bears all the hallmarks of the Coen's aside from their particular directorial stamp, reminding me of a great unmade film about the invisible rival to Bob Dylan, a dark comedy. As it happens, the slow escalation of events to improbable results - and a great subplot about a cat - with a basic, almost plotless set of occasional events and arguments as a struggling acoustic musician, the film instead rests on character and a slow burning understatement. It's a delicate film, which ; instead of setting out a huge plot is a small character study, with moments of immense poignancy that are played matter of factly, The film turns into a road movie at a certain point, with a great turn from John Goodman. If nothing else, It's a Coen film in all but name, and designed for a slow reflection, a timely view, a quiet think.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2014
The Coen brothers’ latest offering is a light, whimsical depiction of one man’s quest to gain success and recognition through working the New York folk music scene in the early 1960s. Inside Llewyn Davis is the name of the character’s debut solo album – which has failed to shift more than a handful of copies since its release. Llewyn is portrayed convincingly by the relatively unknown Latin American actor Oscar Isaac, whilst Carey Mulligan appears as his sometime lover Jane, and Justin Timberlake and John Goodman both cameo - as Jane’s partner Jim, and louche Jazz musician Roland Turner respectively.
Davis drifts from bed to bed, plays his guitar in the atmospheric Gaslight Club, and eventually embarks on a stumbling odyssey of sorts, accompanied by a cat belonging to some friends and various other characters including Roland Turner, and the laconic Beat Poet Johnny Five – played by Garrett Hedlund. Aside from this nothing really happens, however it’s the music, arranged by T-Bone Burnett, that really gives the film its haunting quality; Timberlake, Isaac and Mulligan all perform their characters’ songs in the film, with opening number ‘Hang Me Oh Hang Me’ being particularly affecting.
Overall this has plenty of humour, although it’s of the distinctly dark hue on the whole, and again showcases the Coens’ way with pathos and the results of seemingly inevitable disappointment. At 105 minutes the film doesn’t outstay its welcome, and demonstrates once more that the directing duo comprise one of the finest and original film-making teams Western culture has ever seen.