Inside Llewyn Davis

Billed bizarrely as ‘the new comedy from the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis is perhaps one of the most depressing films I’ve seen in a while. We follow Llewyn as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961 trying desperately to become a star, crashing at people’s houses, playing smoky bars and generally being a guy with a massive chip on his shoulder, its basically Midnight Cowboy but with folk music instead of male prostitution. The cinematography is good and Greenwich certainly looks the part but it is littered with assholes with not one likable character among them, Llewyn being one of the most annoying central figures in recent memory with Jean (Mulligan)coming in a close second. No wonder the cat is constantly trying to get away from them all.  The script is pretty poor by the Coen’s standards and the songs are so bland, not good for a film about the music scene. There is a little light relief when Llewyn records the novelty hit ‘Please Mr Kennedy’ a scene reminiscent of ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ and a sharp reminder of how the mighty have fallen over the years. Not quite sure why everyone thinks this is a masterpiece and would they still think that had it been directed by someone else?

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One Response to Inside Llewyn Davis

  1. The character of Llewyn Davis is loosely based on Dave Van Ronk , a onetime merchant marine who was a leading light among New York folkies before Mr. Dylan arrived on the scene. Though the film itself celebrates folk music and features characters based on well-known musicians like Tom Paxton and Jack Elliott , it’s really a nuanced and at times disturbing look at how talent and ambition collide with failure and loss. The movie’s mobius-like structure, somewhat baffling at first blush, suggests that Llewyn will forever take it on the chin in this crash.

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