Inside Llewyn Davis
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (15)
D: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
CBS/Studio Canal (Scott Rudin, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
W: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
DP: Bruno Delbonnel
Ed: Roderick Jaynes (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
Mus: T-Bone Burnett
PD: Jess Gonchor
Cos: Mary Zophres
Oscar Isaac (Llewyn Davis), Carey Mulligan (Jean Berkey), Justin Timberlake (Jim Berkey), John Goodman (Roland Turner), Adam Driver (Al Cody), Garrett Hedlund (Johnny Five), F. Murray Abraham (Bud Grossman)
The Coen Brothers are undoubtedly the masters of the shaggy dog story, but sometimes it's just the way you tell 'em, and that's where the filmmakers excel.
Inside Llewyn Davis is about a week in the life of a struggling New York folk singer during the early 1960's, trying to raise a buck in fleapit gigs and make money off his failing album, while dealing with domestic affairs.
Oscar Isaac does a brilliant job in a title role role which would probably have gone to Coen's stalwart John Turturro a decade ago (before he flushed his career down the toilet by appearing in the Transformers movies).
Davis' journey takes him from New York to Chicago, chasing his dream while he babysits his friend's cat which came into his possession by happenstance, while cameo appearances from John Goodman, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake give him other dilemmas to overcome. His singing isn't too shabby either.
The real assets of this film are the folk music soundtrack and Bruno Delbonnel's atmospheric cinematography, taking over the cameraman reins from the Coen's usual director of photography Roger Deakins, and perhaps claiming a stake to be the director's man for the job henceforth. His work makes this easily the 'best looking' film of the past year, despite the story not being the best.
It's not an easy watch if you aren't a budding musician or a fan of the Coen Brothers' other movies, but most definitely worth watching if you are.