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Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis

3.5 2
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan


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Idealistic young folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) struggles to make a name for himself in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s in this fictional period drama from Joel and Ethan Coen. As the harsh winds of winter blow through the streets of New York City, the homeless


Idealistic young folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) struggles to make a name for himself in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s in this fictional period drama from Joel and Ethan Coen. As the harsh winds of winter blow through the streets of New York City, the homeless singer/songwriter drifts from couch to couch in search of his big break. Feeling that he's finally burned his bridge with longtime friends and fellow folk singers Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan), and convinced that his recent work on a novelty song will lead him nowhere, Llewyn hitches a ride to Chicago with the mysterious Roland Turner (John Goodman) and his taciturn valet Johnny Five (Garrett Hedlund) on a mission to audition for famed impresario Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham). Meanwhile, Llewyn discovers that he himself may be the biggest obstacle on his arduous road to success.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The Coen brothers' Oscar triumph No Country for Old Men was, in many ways, a revisiting of Fargo that purposefully left out the humanity embodied by Marge's final speech to the killer. If the Coens are now at a stage where they are revisiting their old material in order to express a darker sensibility, it's tempting to think of Inside Llewyn Davis as their update of the already bleak Barton Fink -- an exploration of an artist deluding himself into thinking he's a better person than he is. Oscar Isaac stars as the title character, a talented folk singer and guitarist whose career has grown stagnant after his former performing partner committed suicide. The prickly Llewyn crashes with various friends on different nights, struggles to get paying gigs, and deals with the news that he's impregnated a female friend (Carey Mulligan) who is involved with another man. After landing some quick cash by doing a recording session, Llewyn takes a road trip to Chicago in the hope of winning over a music impresario (F. Murray Abraham) who might be able to give him his big break (or at least a little more money). As always with Joel and Ethan, the movie works well as a dark comedy. As the universe conspires to make Davis miserable, we're encouraged to laugh because he does so little to alleviate that condition. He's unlikable, but in a different way than Barton Fink turned out to be unlikable. Barton revealed himself to be a poseur who only had one good idea, whereas Llewyn doesn't even sing his own words but just interprets the works of others. He simply doesn't have anything to say, and that may be the biggest reason why the Coens leave him to a cruel fate. Isaac, given so little to make his character sympathetic, delivers a performance that humanizes Llewyn in ways the script doesn't make obvious. Sure, he uses people and he's a congenital screwup, but he's also trying to get his life together to the best of his ability -- it's just that his skill in this regard is pointedly lacking. While it's certainly an emotionally downbeat film, Inside Llewyn Davis is often terrifically funny. Mulligan has a series of foulmouthed diatribes aimed at Llewyn that give the movie a hard comedic edge, Coen regular John Goodman turns in a memorable cameo as a voodoo-practicing jazz performer during the road trip to the Midwest, and the song Davis records in the studio -- "Please Mr. Kennedy" -- is a pitch-perfect homage to the tunes of the time period. For that matter, all of the music finds a balance between sounding authentic and being lyrically witty. Joel and Ethan certainly sweeten the bitter pill they want you to swallow. As they've evolved as filmmakers and writers, the Coens' worldview -- never all that rosy to begin with -- has grown more pessimistic and melancholy. After the despairing three-movie run of No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading, and A Serious Man, it appeared as if they had lost any hope for humanity. They seemed to be finding a new course with True Grit, their biggest box-office success, but with its disquieting finale and clear-eyed appraisal of human failing and weakness, Inside Llewyn Davis feels much more like their genuine follow-up to A Serious Man.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
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Special Features

New audio commentary featuring authors Robert Christgau, David Hajdu, and Sean Wilentz New conversation between filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and the Coen brothers about the evolution of their approach Inside "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013), a forty-three-minute documentary Another Day, Another Time (2013), a 101- minute film documenting an Inside Llewyn Davis tribute concert, featuring Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford, Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Jack White, and others New conversation between music producer T Bone Burnett and the Coens about folk music, with illustrations by Drew Christie New piece about the early sixties Greenwich Village folk scene, featuring music writer and historian Elijah Wald Sunday, a short film by Dan Drasin documenting a 1961 clash between folk musicians and police in Washington Square Park Trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Oscar Isaac Llewyn Davis
Carey Mulligan Jean Berkey
Justin Timberlake Jim Berkey
Garrett Hedlund Johnny Five
F. Murray Abraham Bud Grossman
John Goodman Roland Turner
Jeanine Serralles Joy
Ethan Phillips Mitch Gorfein
Robin Bartlett Lillian Gorfein
Max Casella Pappi Corsicato
Jerry Grayson Mel Novikoff
Adam Driver Al Cody
Stark Sands Troy Nelson
Alex Karpovsky Marty Green
Helen Hong Janet Fung
Bradley Mott Joe Flom
Michael Rosner Arlen Gamble
Bonnie Rose Dodi Gamble
Jack A. O'Connell Elevator Attendant
Ricardo Cordero Nunzio
Sylvia Kauders Ginny
Ian Jarvis Cromartie
Diane Findlay Receptionist
Ian Blackman Studio Man
Steve Routman Abortion Doctor
Susan Blommaert Nurse
Amelia McClain Oasis Waitress
James Colby Cop On Road
Charlotte Booker Chicago Waitress
Mike Houston Train Station Cop
Samuel Haft Man in Gate of Horn
Jason Shelton Youth in Car
Frank Ridley Union Hall Man 1
John Ahlin Union Hall Man 2
Jake Ryan Danny
Declan Bennett Irish Singer
Erik Hayden Additional Irish Singer
Daniel Everidge Additional Irish Singer
Jeff Takacs Additional Irish Singer
Nancy Blake Elizabeth Hobby
Stephen Payne Mr. Hobby
Roberto Lopez Bouncer
Benjamin Pike Young Bob

Technical Credits
Joel Coen Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Ethan Coen Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Nancy Capper Costumes/Costume Designer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Olivier Courson Executive Producer
Bruno Delbonnel Camera Operator,Cinematographer
Catherine Farrell Associate Producer
Jess Gonchor Production Designer
Robert Graf Executive Producer
Ron Halpern Executive Producer
Drew Houpt Associate Producer
Roderick Jaynes Editor
Deborah Jensen Art Director
Steve Kirshoff Special Effects Supervisor
Peter Kurland Sound Mixer
Betsy Magruder Asst. Director
Scott Rudin Producer
Mary Zophres Costumes/Costume Designer


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Inside Llewyn Davis 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a good movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting but failed film, partly because the Coens poach on incidents from folksinger Dave van Ronk's life to create a grim Hollywood sendup of the folk scene. Nominally it's placed in the early 1960s, but the relationships and details are too many to ignore. Far better is van Ronk's memoir, "The Mayor of Macdougal Street". Had the Coens trusted the material in it, they'd have had a great film.