Thursday, December 5, 2013

Inside Llewyn Davis (Movie Review)

The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the new Coen Brothers movie "Inside Llewyn Davis" in about the time it takes to watch the trailer. Don't forget, first person to guess my "Best Ever Challenge" gets the point!



 Nobody makes a Cohen Brothers movie quite like the Cohen Brothers. Actually technically nobody makes a Cohen Brothers movie except the Cohen Brothers. But you get the idea.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” is the latest film from Joel and Ethan Cohen and follows the life of a New York musician named, you guessed it, Llewyn Davis as he tries to figure out what his life amounts to. He is encircled by a cast of quirky eccentric characters as you would expect when the Cohen's are at the helm. And that's thing, even though I'll get into some more details in a bit, when you are dealing with the Cohen's you kinda know what you're in for. Yes, each of their movies have their own texture but you can kinda do the CoBro math on a lot of this stuff. For instance, I’d say “Inside Llewyn Davis” is Fargo times Oh Brother divided by The Hudsucker Proxy with maybe a hint of Lebowski. But what makes this one different?
For one, I loved the way music was used in this. Not that the Cohen's haven't proven to have an ear for tunes in their previous films but here the music was allowed to breathe in a pretty incredible way. The songs are sung, in character, in full, with no attempt to cut for momentum. It's a nice emotive choice and adds a depth to the main character that is needed. And by the way lead actor Oscar Isaac delivers top notch vocals and acting here as well. Of course its the actors circling around him that give it that Cohen Brothers universe feel and wow there is some fun stuff. Cohen stalwart John Goodman is here as well as Cohen first timer Justin Timberlake. Both bring an incredible energy and quirk to the proceedings and deserve some applause. Really the entire cast feels right at home and I didn’t see a weak link in the bunch. But the best thing for me is the way the cohens use story structure in this. I stay far away from spoilers in my reviews so I won't even tiptoe towards this one but there is a story telling choice here towards the end that drives home an incredibly meaningful point and I thought it worked very well. Feel free to send me a message if you want specifics, I’ll hit you back for sure.
So worst thing? Well, if you don't like the cohen brothers, you won't like this movie, and I guess I kinda get it. They really can be an acquired taste. Their movies have a way of meandering through the plot and often the lack of context or typical film vocabulary can leave a feeling of being lost or wondering what the point is. But for me, it's like a taking a journey using the back roads. Sure you may get lost at times and not get there as quickly, but the view is so beautiful and full of character. Sometimes you simply don't need to know where you are to enjoy the scenery.
All in all “Inside Llewyn Davis” is another quirky Cohen Brothers masterpiece. If you like what they do you'll love it, if you just don't get them, don't plan on getting this either. It's not their best film but I think it's towards the top and will go with a B+.
Thanks for checking out this Your Movie Friend review, stay tuned for this review’s “Best Ever” challenge here in bit but first, I’m going to put up some stuff you can click over in this area. If you’d like to subscribe, which I would much appreciate, you can do so by clicking the big gray subscribe button. Want to see more reviews? You can click here to see reviews of Oscar hopefuls "Philomena" and "The Book Thief" or the latest Jason Statham action flick "Homefront". You can also Click the logo up here to go to where you can search by title for reviews. And finally this review’s “Best Ever” Challenge, where you name the best movie ever in a particular category and also try to identify my choice. Might as well go for it, “name the best Cohen Brothers movie ever”. Mine might surprise you, as many wouldn't even rank it in their top 10, well 11 if you include the mezzanine. Drop your own answer and a guess at mine in the comments and first person to guess mine gets a point! Also don’t forget to subscribe!

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