The Coen brothers are known for their range of dark to quirky films, going by titles like “O, Brothers Where Art Thou”, “The Men Who Stare At Goats” and “No Country For Old Men,” so when their name is announced on a trailer for “Inside Llewyn Davis,” one has a bit of expectation.
Oscar Isaacs plays Llewyn Davis, a down on his luck folk singer, who travels from couch to couch in New York City, playing small venues and waiting for his solo album to make any sales. The film follows him through a week of his life, starting with a rousing beating of Davis, at the end of the week, and then we see the events leading up to this unfortunate encounter in the alleyway.
Isaacs is joined by Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, as a folk duo, and John Goodman, a jazz singer, along the way.
Davis’ unfortunate week goes from a surprise pregnancy announcement, with plans of an abortion, to a trip to Chicago ending in disappointment, and ending in the same joint we began in, with a multitude of couch stops and chasing of cats to fill in the week.
The dim lighting of the movie, combined with the melancholy sound of the folk score, highlights Davis’ dismal existence. Isaacs portrays Davis with a sadness and knowledge that tomorrow may not be much better. Even with this portrayal, I still felt like I was watching through a window that didn’t allow me to see the full scope of the emotions that this film had the potential to display.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” has a run time of 104 minutes and is rated R for language including some sexual references.
The film receives a B-grade from me. I never quite connected with the characters, but that was more at fault with the constant barrage of events that didn’t quite allow for an emotional connection.