Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett, Max Casella, Jerry Grayson, Jeanine Serralles


Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a folk singer in 1960s New York, suffers for his art, tremendously talented yet too uncompromising to make the kinds of alliances and connections that may lead to greater opportunities. 

Like the cat he drags around with him, he leads a rather precarious existence.


Isaac gives a brilliant performance.

Llewyn is so narcissistic, self-destructive, and self-important that it should be difficult to sympathize with him, yet I couldn’t help rooting for him.

Part of the reason for that is the tremendous humanity that Isaac brings to the role, but much of it is the talent he displays in performance.

There were numerous points when I wished I could reach through the screen and shake either the music industry people who failed to recognize his talent or Llewyn himself for burning so many bridges.

Musicians who should know have criticized the film for portraying what was actually a vibrant and supportive music scene as something drab and joyless.

Maybe so, but it makes for an unbearably poignant film.


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