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Outside Normalcy

'Inside Llewyn Davis’ has its moments, but…

January 8, 2014, 12:00 am
Inside Llewyn Davis is one of those movies that’s more fun to discuss afterward than it is to watch. That’s partly because Davis (Oscar Isaac) is such a reprehensible asshole, and it’s partly because the standard Coen brothers humor seems forced and out of place this time around.

There are reasons for Davis’ assholeishness. First, his singing and songwriting partner is dead, and it becomes clear he’s not over the loss. Second, he has no winter coat, and it’s colder than shit. Third, he has no regular place to live. Fourth, the early 1960s folk movement doesn’t seem to want him.

What Inside Llewyn Davis has going for it is some superior cinematography (by Bruno Delbonnel), music and performances. What it doesn’t have is a story that’s worth giving a crap about. This movie is a character piece, and if character pieces about unrepentant douchebags aren’t your cup of tea, steer clear.

It’s a pity the movie itself isn’t more enjoyable because it has so many things going for it. Sure-footed direction, good music and a charming cat. Isaac is excellent, and it’s a pity his first lead performance isn’t of someone who’s slightly more appealing.

Still, there are worse movies out there (see: Lone Survivor).

Upgrade to “Ok” if you’re a Coen devotee.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
With Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake
UA DeVargas 6
R
105 min.

 

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