A not-so-faithful take on the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early-1960s, the Coens brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis is part sour Barton Fink satire on creative arrogance and part O Brother, Where Art Thou? roots-music extravaganza. It’s either a haunting odyssey of failure or who-cares? kind of thing, depending on one’s mood. Either way, stupendous music.
Inside Llewyn Davis opens this week. My full review is at PopMatters:
There’s little reason to think that the titular guitar strummer in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis will ever come to much of anything. When first spotted in this chilly film, Davis (Oscar Isaac) is determinedly hunched over a microphone and lavishing bleak care on the traditional number, “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” whose chorus notes, “I’ll be dead and gone.” After a polite response from the crowd, he steps into the alley behind the dark coffeehouse and gets socked in the nose by a man who keeps grumbling about “What you did.” Things don’t pick up much after that…
You can see the trailer here, using the number “Fare Thee Well,” which could be to this film what “Man of Constant Sorrow” was to O Brother.