Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, Adam Driver

Directed by: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

Synopsis: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

A new Coen brothers movie is always a cause for celebration in my book. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of their best, or one of their weaker movies, there is always something to enjoy in them. Inside Llewyn Davis was one that I enjoyed a lot, but without ever feeling it was a real ‘Coens’ movie if that makes sense. Sure, there was a few characters who where kind of odd, and the movie had certain Coen type themes in it, but compared to previous unmistakeable efforts it was kind of a straight forward film.

Oscar Isaac is excellent as the titular character, who’s week just seems to go from bad to worse. He has no money, no where to stay, no gigs, no one has any interest in his music, he has strained relations with his friends and to cap it all off he loses a cat.

The film is a sort of love letter to the New York folk scene of the early sixties (Dylan even makes an appearance at the end) and from what I have read of that scene from that time, it is a great recreation. I’m not a huge fan of folk music personally, but the music featured in this is amazing, possibly even on a par (and certainly a close relation) with O Brother Where ‘Art Thou. It’s even more impressive that it was almost all played live as well, and definitely means that Isaac has a second career choice if this movie game doesn’t work out.

The performances are all good, especially Mulligan (angry) and Goodman (crazy, one of the most Coen-y thing about the film). The trouble is, none of them are really in it long enough to make more of an impression. This is a road movie of sorts, and they are all passing characters along the journey.

I would say this is probably the Coens best work since No Country For Old Men. Not quite on a par with that film for me personally, but a success none the less.

4 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Glad you liked it as well! I was curious to hear your take since you’re a big music guy 🙂 I don’t know anyone who’s seriously into folk music 😀

  2. Glad you liked it mate. I really enjoyed it, although it was a little cold at times. The music was great though and thee fact they had full songs made it seem almost like a musical.

    • Yeah I know what you mean about the coldness, my wife didn’t like it and I think that was largely because there wasn’t any emotion showed by anyone. But that is standard Coens I suppose.

  3. Good review Thomas. Liked it more and more I began to think about it. Don’t know if that’s because I realized I made a mistake in my first judgement of this movie, or it’s because that’s how good the Coens are at writing their movies. Either way, something worked on me.

  4. giorge thomas

    Brilliant. They must have done all right because it’s been popping up at all the award ceremonies!

    • Yeah, I really enjoyed it. Do you like Coen Brothers movies?

      • giorge thomas

        I do. I like their take on things, and find it amazing that as brothers they can collaborate. Although, having said that, I find all creative collaboration intriguing as for me it has always been almost a secretive thing.

      • What is your favourite of their movies would you say. I’m going Fargo or No Country For Old Men.

        I agree about creativity though, I feel almost embarrassed if doing it with someone else. That’s why I could never be in a band or anything.

  5. I’ve heard great things about the soundtrack – nice to hear the movie sounds like a good one too

  6. Can’t wait to see this! Like you, I always enjoy the Coen brothers’ films.

  7. Great review, will have to check this one out now.

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