6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Coen Brothers do sixties folk.,
This review is from: Inside Llewyn Davis [DVD]  (DVD)
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The Coen Brothers are always going to make an exceptional film, but not always one that you would expect. This falls into the latter category. Set in 1961 we follow a short time in the life of Llewyn Davies; he is barely scraping a living playing bars and hoping to get some royalties. He was in a duo that had shifted some units and then his singing mate jumped off The Washington Bridge.
Then after getting a kicking in an alleyway he gets taken in by a fan - he manages to let their cat escape and so starts a bit of an odyssey carting this cat from place to place till he can reunite it. He is also sleeping on the couch of his best friend Jim (Justin Timberlake) and has been sleeping with Jean - Jim's wife. Everywhere he goes he seems to make things worse as his sister says he has the Midas Touch in reverse. So he goes on a road trip to Chicago to try his luck there as the New York winter in Greenwich Village seems to hold no joy for him. He takes car share with drug addled jazz musician Roland Turner - John Goodman in a bravura performance.
The songs are done beautifully and Oscar Isaac as Llewyn is a piece of perfect casting - he can sing too and is very engaging. The part players are all spot on and the attention to detail is done with care and an eye for the authentic. The cars are often dirty and the streets look 1960's New York. This though is not a celebration of `folk' music - it is a rather sad tale of a man trying and not really getting anywhere yet keeping the will to go on. There is a feeling of going round in circles which is exemplified by the ending - as if he will never learn from his mistakes. When it did end I was in two minds about what I felt; I thought on it for a number of days and realised that just because it is hard to pigeon hole does not make this a bad film - it makes you think, it is entertaining, it is a tad depressing and yet it is undoubtedly about life, art and love and as such I can only recommend this highly original film.