The movie follows folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Issac), as he navigates through the
Thanks to the excellent performance of Oscar Isaac, we know just enough about Llewyn Davis to understand him and care about his story, but we are never forced to like him. Llewyn is as lost and flawed as the characters that are portrayed within his genre of music, and though we can’t help, but empathize with him, we don’t always like how he acts.
The details of “Inside Llewyn Davis” craft a world that subtly supports the feeling and mood of the film. The attention to visual detail is incredible. The color palette of the film is very noticeable. Awash with browns, greys, and dull blues, and lit almost entirely with stark white lighting, you can truly feel the winter closing in about you. Re-occurring imagery makes new scenes feel familiar, as cats, narrow corridors, and subway shots remind the viewers of the repetition and redundancy of the protagonist’s life.
The film is a quiet one, and rightfully so, but it is not monotonous. The most silent or uneventful scenes are immediately followed by a tiny climax. Small revelations, moments of emotional poignancy, and somewhat startling contrast cuts break up the film in a way that is organic and compelling. Of course, like life, the film is not without its laughs. The Coen Brothers’ signature dry, witty humor is peppered throughout the dialogue, and constantly breathes life and energy into the production.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” is like a good folk song: the power is in the feeling that comes with it; the personal closeness felt between the viewer and the character; the minutia that builds on itself to establish beauty and depth within the relatively simple framework of the film. Not everyone will like it, but those that do will walk out of the theater moved and still find their minds wandering back to the entirely missable moments that in fact make the film so exceptional.
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