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Movie Review – Inside Llewyn Davis (minor spoilers)

Inside Llewyn Davis is the latest release from the always unique Coen brothers. I went in expecting more of a travel/road movie akin to O Brother, Where Art Thou?  Instead, this film follows just a couple days in the life of a struggling folk singer in Greenwich (although there is a brief sojourn to Chicago with a very personality-driven performance by John Goodman and a Peter Stormare-styled Garret Hedlund). I really love the acting choices Oscar Isaac makes as the titular Llewyn. A lesser actor would try and create constant excuses or create a more emotional character, but Isaac makes Llewyn almost too secure in his disinterest. He is often a hard character to like, and his motivations are so selfish and frustrating that sympathies for his struggle are difficult. And then, by God, he starts to sing.

I have listened to a great deal of folk music. It is hands down my favorite kind of music. Isaac has easily one of the best voices out there. And, because he is such a solid actor, he is able to convey his disinterest in what he is singing about and how much of an act the whole business is to him. He only sings because it is what he is good at and thus thinks it is what he should do. It is the only thing he knows how to do. 

As the poster shows, there is a cat. Llewyn, through a series of truly unfortunate circumstances, is stuck traipsing around lower Manhattan with a cat. The cat keeps getting loose and just keeps doing whatever it is that cats do. That is Llewyn–he just keeps getting loose and doing whatever it is that Llewyn does. 

 

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