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Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis

Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Inside Llewyn Davis recounts a desolate week in the life of a fictional folk musician in early 1960s New York. Brilliantly written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (O Brother Where Art Thou?; The Big Lebowski), the film is a humorous, heartfelt, and bittersweet ode to squandered opportunities, thwarted ambition, and unsung genius.

A gorgeous opening scene in Greenwich Village’s Gaslight Café introduces us to Llewyn Davis (a delightfully rumpled and bearded Oscar Isaac; Drive, W.E.) as he sings a bleak but beautiful song called “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me”. Llewyn has been attempting a solo career, having just split from his performing partner, but despite his extraordinary talent and good looks, he just can’t seem to catch a break. Desperately low on money, he tramps the cold streets of New York, guitar in hand, playing only the tiniest of gigs. He is essentially living a transient existence, bouncing from apartment to apartment and crashing on the couches of anyone who will have him— and some who won’t. With his music career having stalled, Llewyn has reached a personal crossroads and is unsure whether to continue in world that doesn’t seem ready for what his songs have to say.

Loosely inspired by the life and music of iconic Greenwich Village folk musician Dave Van Ronk and his memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street, Inside Llewyn Davis perfectly captures the atmosphere of the sixties folk boom through its resonant soundtrack (curated by T-Bone Burnett), exquisite production design and cinematography. Isaac gives a mesmerizing performance as the troubled eponymous troubadour, suffusing it with both charm and a subdued anger. Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby, An Education) stands out in her supporting role as a hysterically irritable and foul-mouthed fellow folk musician who may or may not be pregnant with Llewyn’s child.

Moving and mordantly funny, Inside Llewyn Davis represents the Coen Brothers at the top of their game.


Critical Notes

"An outstanding fictional take on the early 1960s folk music scene from the Coen Brothers." - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

"The Coen brothers' new movie ranks with their very best in its nearly pitch-perfect balance of biting satirical humour and deep reserves of feeling. " - Jon Frosch, The Atlantic

"The result is a movie that neatly avoids the problems endemic to most period movies -- and biopics in particular -- in favor of a playful, evocatively subjective reality." - Scott Foundas, Variety


Film Information

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Cast:: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham, Garrett Hedlund 
Year: 2012
Runtime: 105 
Country: USA
Language: English
Distributor: Mongrel
Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR



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