Sunday, December 22, 2013

Inside Llewyn Davis - Movie Review

Joel and Ethan Coen have a long history of writing and directing very unique stories that consistently earn praise from both critics and moviegoers alike. Inside Llewyn Davis, which stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake is the brother's latest attempt at continuing this long tradition of success.

Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is a struggling folk singer living in early 1960's Greenwich Village during a time right before the neighborhood's folk renaissance. Most of his struggles seem to come from making bad decisions both in his personal and professional lives although bad luck seems to be waiting for him around every corner as well. After a steady stream of opportunities, friendships, and jobs continue to slip from his grasp, he decides to risk everything on an impromptu road trip that, if he plays his cards right, could lead to a record deal.

While I am open to a very wide range of movies, there are certain types of stories that I just can not get into no matter how well they are put together. Inside Llewyn Davis is the third movie I've watched this year where the main character is not very likable and they are sent down a path where absolutely nothing goes right and they just continue to be horrible people through it all. By the end, there is no resolution, everything is just left hanging as if to say...look how crappy a human being's life can be. Yeah, no thanks.

This movie is actually being praised as a comedy, which the Coen's are known for and, while there are a few humorous moments, the whole thing is just one big depressing pile of blah. The acting performances are also being heaped with praise and I find myself struggling hard to see why. Oscar Isaac plays the lead character very flat and, while Davis is supposed to be cold hearted and selfish, all I got was distant and lazy from the actor. There was never a point where I carted about anything that happened to him and I would have much rathers learned more about his musician friends Jean and Jim who were more solidly played by Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake respectively.

I am a big fan of Carey Mulligan and was happy to see her put on another good show although, as I alluded to, the story just left me wanting to see more. Same deal for Justin Timberlake as he has really solidified himself as a quality actor and adds yet another notch to his growing resume with this role except for how small of a part it is. as far as John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund, their characters were just really weird and the part of the movie that they are in is pretty much useless so I could have done without them being in this movie at all.

As you can tell by now, I really did not enjoy this movie. There are moments that were really good, but the whole thing was just too depressing and pointless for me to possibly enjoy any of it. Again, this is based on my personal taste in movies which is clearly different from the vast majority of critics and writers out there that are heaping praise all over this thing. For me, Inside Llewyn Davis is a movie that I cannot recommend even knowing there are people out there that would enjoy it.

Oh, I do have to add that the cat actors (apparently there were three) in the movie all do a fine job and were very enjoyable to watch onscreen. CLICK HERE to learn a little more about them.


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