"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Mar 112014

photo for Inside Llewyn Davis The Coen Brothers have a knack for taking a film genre (and time period) and making it their own, from Hollywood satire (“Barton Fink”) to Depression-era social drama (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) to crime thriller (“Blood Simple”) to modern Western (“No Country for Old Men”) to 1960s melodrama (“A Serious Man”) and period Western (“True Grit”) — imbuing their films with offbeat sensibilities (way offbeat with the great “The Big Lebowski”), wit, pathos and existential angst. With “Inside Llewyn Davis” they’ve taken on a most-sacred subject, the rise of the 1960s folk-music scene in 1961 New York City, and created a scenario that succinctly captures a moment in time with a melancholy look at a struggling musician who fights his demons to make his way in the world. The film follows a week in the life of young folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he navigates the bleak streets of Lower Manhattan, the living-room couches of friends, and the empty coffee houses of Greenwich Village in an effort to make it as a musician. The settings are right on, the acting superb (with fine turns by Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake and F. Murray Abraham), and the music — well, so accurately folksy it’ll make you reach for those old Dave Van Ronk (whose book, “The Mayor of MacDougal Street,” was one of the sources for the film, while the title was a nod to Van Ronk’s album “Inside Dave Van Ronk”), Dylan, Ian and Sylvia and Joan Baez albums. The times they were a-changin. Extras: “Inside Inside Llewyn Davis” making-of documentary, featuring Joel and Ethan Coen, Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wald, Stark Sands, T-Bone Burnett, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Marcus Mumford, Chris Thile, John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham, Jess Gonchor, Mary Zophres and Bruno Delbonnel. Vitals: Director: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen. Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, F. Murray Abraham, Ethan Phillips, Adam Driver, Robin Bartlett, Max Casella. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Drama, Box office gross: $11.239 million, Sony. 3 stars

 Posted by on March 11, 2014  Add comments

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