Reviewed by: Spencer Schumacher
|Featuring:||Oscar Isaac … Llewyn Davis
Carey Mulligan … Jean
Justin Timberlake … Jim
John Goodman … Roland Turner
F. Murray Abraham … Bud Grossman
Ethan Phillips … Mitch Gorfein
Robin Bartlett … Lillian Gorfein
|Director:||Ethan Coen, Joel Coen|
|Producer:||Anton Capital Entertainment (ACE)
Mike Zoss Productions
Though they already had five films under their belt (most notably “Raising Arizona” or their debut film “Blood Simple”), Joel and Ethan Cohen became prominent filmmakers with their 1996 Oscar® winning film “Fargo”. They have subsequently made nine other features including the cult classic “The Big Lebowski” and “No Country for Old Men” which also won the Academy’s top honor.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” is the Cohen Brothers’ latest cinematic offering, and to put it simply, fans off the Cohen Brothers quirky, idiosyncratic story-telling and dry, often dark sense of humor will find delight in this film. Those who do not like their work, or are not familiar enough, will probably not enjoy this musical folk-tale.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” follows the life of Llewyn Davis, a fictional, young folk singer in Greenwich Village in the early sixties, just before the folk music explosion. He is a struggling musician who obviously has a lot of talent, but struggles against day to day obstacles, most of which he creates through bad luck and worse decisions.
“…Davis” is basically a road picture, following its titular character from one town to the next and one couch to another (wherever he can convince someone to let him sleep for a night or two) as he tracks down a lead to land new management or potentially a more lucrative record contract. For most of the movie, his traveling companion is a cat he inherits against his best interest.
Oscar Issac (“Drive,” “Sucker Punch”) plays Llewyn Davis, and is very sympathetic in the title role, even though at times it is hard to root for Llewyn who can never seem to get out of his own way. The cast also includes Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman.
Audience members may find some content offensive. The most prevailing issue is the abundance of foul language in this film. There are numerous utterances of the “f” word, particularly by Llewyn. At one point he is reminded by his sister to watch his language while around his young nephew and goes on to utter a couple more profanities.
Though there isn’t any outright violence in the film, there is a brief bar fight and those that are sensitive to animal cruelty should be warned that there is a scene involving a cat which may be upsetting.
Overall, “…Davis” is a fun film that will definitely be a hit among Cohen Brothers fans. General audiences will probably have a difficult time latching on to “Llewyn Davis,” and it should be noted that the Cohen Brothers have a very unique, often obscure sense of story-telling. After all, they’re the filmmakers that won an Oscar® for a very unpleasant way of disposing of Steve Buscemi in a wood chipper. Unless you’re a fan, “Inside Llewyn Davis” may not be your particular style.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy to extreme—“God” (6), “G*d-d*mn” (4), “Jesus” (4), f-words (50+), s-words (30+), “*ss” (12), and a few vulgar sexual words / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
ABORTION—Have questions about life before birth, or a woman’s choice about pregnancy and abortion? Visit this beautiful online presentation. Ask questions; get reliable answers.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.