If it was never old and it was never new, then it's a folk song. Words spoken by Llewyn Davis in this film that could not apply to it more. This film is a folk song in its structure, tone, and scope; a song that makes us laugh, think, and at times break.
Writing/Direction: Ethan and Joel Coen are two of the modern masters of cinema with works that range from the Big Lebowski to No Country for Old Men. While those are certainly good, I am firm in my stance that none of them hold a candle to the intimate character study that is Inside Llewyn Davis. Their direction paints a portrait of intimacy while sticking to a dulled color palleate that fits perfectly. Their writing is fantastic. Fun fact: they actually do not plot out their movies, they just write without having much of an idea where the story is going. It is true creative writing that allows us to spend a week Inside Llewyn Davis.
Performances: While John Goodman is typically hilarious, Carey Mulligan is accurately and rightfully dramatic, and Justin Timberlake is pitch perfect, none of the supporting characters can compare to the finely tuned performance of Oscar Isaac, who gives what may be his best work yet. There were times I forgot I was watching Poe Dameron/Nathan from Ex Machina and only saw Llewyn Davis on the screen. He portrays a sarcastic, witty, somber Folk Singer with ease and his vocal parts are off the charts. Oscar Isaac is one of the truly underrated actors of the modern day.
The music is fantastic; a medley of folk songs combined with what would be considered modern back in the 60s (Please Mr. Kennedy). The cinematography is intimate and well-framed. Every aspect of this film corresponds to the Coens' finely tuned work. (10/10)
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