February 4, 2014

Inside Llewyn Davis

The newest Cohen brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, follows a short span of a folk singer’s unfortunate life as he sulks around in self pity and alienates what few friends he has left. It is almost universally loved by critics, but I doubt it will be joining Oh Brother, Where Art Thou in the average movie fan’s dvd collection.

If you like the rest of the Cohen filmography you will surely love Llewyn Davis. It is shot beautifully and Oscar Isaac puts on a wonderful performance as Llewyn. His acting makes it believable, his singing makes worthwhile. As a film, it is impressive, but the story meanders to an unsatisfying conclusion. We are subjected to the plight of the tortured artist, and feel a little bit tortured ourselves.

Llewyn is a jerk. He takes advantage of people. He thinks he deserves something. He turns his back on the ones that care about him. He cares about the integrity of his art, and will keep fighting the uphill battle until the world recognizes his genius. As a viewer I didn’t like our main character. As I followed his journey there was nothing that made me come around on this guy. Maybe that is the point. Either way, I didn’t connect with the character, and that makes it tough to like a movie that doesn’t offer much else.

If you are a fan of film, you should go ahead and watch Llewyn Davis. The main performance alone makes it worthwhile. If you are just in the mood for a good movie I’d probably look elsewhere. I am amazed by the 94% Rotten Tomatoes score, and 92% Metacritic score. Maybe I should read some of those reviews and see what everybody liked so much about it.

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