English Review – Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)


The storytelling of Inside Llewyn Davis is done like never before. With Oscar Isaac steering the wheel masterfully, you can expect worth music to listen and a roundabout way of tragicomedy.

Hang Me, Oh Hang Me
I’ll be dead and gone….

There’s nobody more a loser than our central character here. I mean, we’ve seen a lot of movies where our main man is struggling, and we’ll pity about him, but here, in Inside Llewyn Davis, we will just agree. Life is getting easier and unscrambled for good people, but for a jerk, it’s getting worse in such a circle, an abject cycle.

Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a musician almost over, was a part of a duo. He messed up, knocking friends door for shelter, a couch even a carpet. Not knowing any good decision to take, unwise and sometimes also ungrateful. A subject to a financial problem, his album “Inside Llewyn Davis” got no selling. With the atmosphere of 1961’s New York, Coen Brothers invite bleak winter colors and shades, it’s more like a peaceful place but also feels like a desperate one. Llewyn still on trouble, no money situation isn’t the only thing, there are more to come: a cat, and a pregnant woman.

It’s quite a character study, about folk and folk music. The music is strong to incarnate melancholia. The melodies along Llewyn acoustic play, you know, it absorb into your soul. Still, looks like the people in the movie don’t get the beauty, Llewyn got stuck in an underappreciated-song circumstance. He doesn’t feel much about any one song, even makes a teasing gesture on Jim’s (Justin Timberlake)  “Please Mr.Kennedy” when he stupidly chooses direct cash over potential royalties.

Probably that’s what makes him feels the same about his, the fact that he himself not convinced with his creation. He even happens to make a long trip way to Chicago only to find reject. Along the way, it must be one of strangest sequence scenes where he meets the introvert “don’t mind me” beat poet Johnny Five and the odious-mouthful jazz musician Roland Turner. Situated in the same car, it keeps me feel astonished to learn how they got separated later.

Inside Llewyn Davis nonetheless is a touching piece. A complete tragicomedy fits well with top-notch music. Beautifully done like never before, I find The Coen Brothers have done a successful combination of what they used to do before. It always the same dark humor: a smartass wit, and a man to blame.