Friday, March 14, 2014

Inside Llewyn Davis

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I don't like folk music but this movie makes me want to be a folk singer...wait, no it doesn't.  Forget I said anything.

Inside Llewyn Davis – 4 out of 5

I don’t know how the Coen brothers do it but whatever film they try to make—whether it be a neo-noir crime film, a tale about a slacker bowling enthusiast, a remake of a John Wayne classic, a thriller containing Javier Bardem sporting one of his usual wacky haircuts, something contain George Clooney set during the depression and is loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey or a dark comedy that will remain infamous thanks to a wood chipper—no matter what they attempt, they always seem to succeed. Sure, it could be the fact they are talented but you can’t convince me that dark magic wasn’t somehow involved.

If that dark magic gives us John Goodman in every one of their films, I say it's alright by me!

Fuck, you know a guy is a talented musician when you film him
and he looks like this.
The year is 1961 and struggling folk singer in New York City; Llewyn Davis (Oscar Issac), is spending the cold winter months trying to get paid, get noticed and just find a place to sleep. Relying on the couches of friends, Davis is trying to move on after the suicide of his partner and the journey takes him on a path to watch over a friend’s cat, deal with the fact he has to get an abortion for a friend of his that is pregnant with his kid and, ultimately, leads him to Chicago where he auditions for a man that can hopefully help his career.

And here's the cat...the true star of the film and the one with the dark magic for
the Coens.

Like many of the Coens’ films, Inside Llewyn Davis shouldn’t be funny because the character of Davis is a tragic one. He’s a struggling artist who can’t make a living doing the art he loves, his partner killed himself, he’s frustrated, he’s angry and the man doesn’t even have a winter coat but the brothers somehow take this dark dynamic and make the film amusing thanks to clever timing and editing. While I, admittedly, didn’t find this film as funny as some of the Coens’ other work, I did enjoy this film immensely because of the overall look of the film, the depressing nature of the story and the tremendous performances…and the music is great, too!

Great music despite the fact that Justin Timberlake was involved!
Get over it, I don't like his music.

First off, I enjoyed the overall appearance of the film. The soft colors gave the film a look that resembled the album covers of the folk artists we see throughout this film and it ended up being the perfect compliment for the musical styling the film contains. For lack of a better description, the filters and all around cinematography choices used to make this unique look ended up making the film and story not only sound like the very thing a folk artist would sing about but it somehow just LOOKED how I imagine a folk singer sees the world…something depressing but with hints of underwhelming color.

This movie's look is EXACTLY how I would picture a movie about Instagram would look like.

While I’m not a folk singer fan, the music in this film is fantastic and is performed amazingly by the cast…and the cast just performed well in general. Oscar Issac was phenomenal as Llewyn Davis and really captured the frustration the character was going through and all the problems (whether the fault of their existence is on him or not) that were weighing down on him. His interaction with the other characters and just the environment itself screamed of a man who is always losing everything within his reach. He made the character very depressing but was able to be a subject of amusement thanks to the Coens’ original sense of timing and storytelling.

See Llewyn Davis this summer in That Damn Cat!

Admittedly, Inside Llewyn Davis may not end up being my favorite Coen Brothers movie and chances are I might not watch it nearly as much as I watch Fargo or The Big Lebowski but the film is emotional and amusing…and looks and sounds great thanks to a beautiful presentation and soundtrack.

I'm including this picture for no other reason than John Goodman's face.

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