In the latest film from the Coen Brothers, “Inside Llewyn Davis” we get to experience the beginning of modern folk music, through the eyes of a very real, but fictitious, musician who is all about the music.
The brief peek we get into the life of Llewyn covers only a matter of days, but it feels like much more (in the most entertaining way possible). Llewyn is a couch surfing folk musician making his way through life with a lot of help from his friends and family. His life is messy and complicated and full of talent of all kinds—his own and that of those around him.
When he’s not playing a gig, he’s sleeping on a new couch, crashing a dinner party, being hit with the latest bad news, or spontaneously jetting of on a cross-country trip.
Although we only see a few days, you get the impression that these few days are a pretty solid case study of his life. It seems appropriate that our time with him starts and ends in precisely the same place.
The talent in this movie is as astounding, but understated as Llewyn himself. The likes of Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, and John Goodman are brilliant, but fleeting presences in this story, and that totally works.
That leaves plenty of room for the star of this piece and his life, Mr. Llewyn Davis himself, plenty of room to shine, and Oscar Isaac lives up to that task. The success of this whole piece rests on his very talented shoulders and he carries the burden beautifully.
There’s little doubt that the Coen Brother’s latest film is a love letter to folk music and all of the grunge and scruff that comes with it, but “Inside Llewyn Davis” is about more than the gypsy lifestyle of our protagonist.
Through the adventures of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) we explore the cost and trials of pursuing your passions and the truly subjective nature of talent.