Movie Review: Inside Llewyn Davis
A struggling Folk singer trying to make it big in the music biz, Inside Llewyn Davis is a tale that gives you a different look at the life of a musician. Sure there’s a focus on the music but its the relationship with others that really give the film its focus.
Llewyn Davis spends his night couch surfing after playing any gig he can get. He has a rotting list of friends staying just long enough to wear out his welcome till he has to make it to the next set of friends who are still talking to him. The film seems to take place over the course of about 2 weeks in 1961, it’s a glimpse into his life. Llewyn (Oscar Issac) visits his record label hoping for some royalty checks only to learn there are none. He know he has to figure out something and hopefully get his big break. He stops at his local hangout where he sometimes plays gigs Jean (Carey Mulligan) and Jim (Justin Timberlake) are a folk duo and his most frequent resting place. Llewyn is amazed at how popular they have become and a small-time kid named Troy Nelson (Stark Sands) who he finds corny but not only does the audience love him, Troy has had more success then he has. After learning Troy managed to get a bigger better deal in Chicago with a well known venue, Llewyn sees this as an opportunity that may present itself down the road. He does get work here and there, thanks t Jim he gets to be a studio artist for a song, the Golden Globe nominated Please Mr. Kennedy. Its definitely not folk and not something Llewyn would do normally but he needs to money. He also learns that because of who he is signed to his opinions for outside work don’t really work.
Llewyn Davis has some other side issues, his father is in a home, his sister is selling the parents home and there is probably no money in the sale, he comes across other musicians who seem to have been where he was a few months ago and have gotten out of the business. Llewyn sees Chicago as a make it or break it trip. He ends up driving along with Johnny (Garrett Hedlund) and Mr. Turner (John Goodman) who stays in the back alternates between sleeping and constantly talking and takes entirely too much time in the restroom. There also is a cat involved. The cat is a pretty fun secondary storyline and I won’t spoil it but you will end up enjoying that.
This peak Inside Llewyn Davis is a great glimpse with a soundtrack that really works. Don’t even like folk music but everyone tone was just right. There’s mild humor, its always subtle but it also works. I’m starting to really like Carey Mulligan, and she’s pretty good as Jean. All the actors really sell their roles but its the fine balance and the storytelling that keeps you invested.
My Rating: Full Price
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Studio: CBS Films
Release Date: December 20, 2014 (limited)
Run time: 104 minutes
MPAA Rating: R