The most amazing thing about Inside Llewyn Davis is that a movie like this can still get made. Its like only the Coen Brothers could've made a film like this and also that this movie could only have been made by The Coen Brothers. That is not to say that this is a very good Coen Brothers film. It is a nicely made film, fairly entertaining and in some ways a harsh reminder that pursuing your dreams, specially if they are of an artistic nature, is extraordinarily hard.
It will do well in the award circuit and not so well in the Oscars. While Original Screenplay is in the bag, I don't see them winning the best Director for this one.
Oscar Isaac does a very good job as the struggling lead folk singer. He is able to convey the desperation and inner struggle of an artist specially of one who isn't very good. Carey Mulligan, the less annoying but similarly incompetent new replacement for Maggie Gallenhaal, is as expected - annoying. The rest of the characters are classic Coen Brothers characters - quirky, memorable and entertaining but ultimately - props.
The film features good but not excellent soundtrack. "Fare Thee Well" is excellent and "Hang me, oh hang me" is reminiscent of T Bone Burnett's other great Coen Borthers soundtrack - "O Brother Where Art Thou".
The Coen Brothers have done some of the most extraordinary movies of the last 20 years. Most of their movies follow the general pattern that only they could've made them. There is not even a lot of imitation in the industry. I guess people just don't seem them worthy (until recently) or that their style is really so different that others find it overwhelmingly challenging to make a full film out of their topics. I think their greatest strength is in building unforgettable characters and that's what is so hard.
They are easily my most favorite film makers. I'd watch their movies anytime and often multiple times. They are possibly the only true practitioners of the Auteur theory operating consistent in the American cinema.
The Top 10 Coen Brothers Films
- O Brother Where Art Thou
- Raising Arizona
- The Big Lebowski
- Not Country for Old Men
- The Hudsucker Proxy
- Blood Simple
- Miller's Crossing
- Intolerable Cruelty
- Burn After Reading