The early days of the Greenwich Village folk scene in Inside Llewyn Davis | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

The early days of the Greenwich Village folk scene in Inside Llewyn Davis 

ild-02813-ct.jpg

Traversing the basket houses and back alleys of the early 1960s pre-Dylan Greenwich Village music scene, Inside Llewyn Davis is the Coen Brothers' ode to the fuzzy line separating artistic purity from creative recalcitrance. Driven by a melodious period soundtrack, the film is part O Brother, Where Art Thou? and part Barton Fink, but with a brooding tone that envelopes its humorous flourishes.

For the uninitiated, part of the film's fun is connecting its fictionalized characters to such real-life inspirations as Tom Paxton, Doc Pomus, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Peter, Paul and Mary. The title figure is inspired by Village legend Dave Van Ronk, who once released an album called Inside Dave Van Ronk and, like Llewyn, clung to folk forms rather than more mainstream or "marketable" deviations. "I thought you said you were a musician," growls an unimpressed jazz player (John Goodman).

Llewyn's also a hard person to like, whether he's sleeping with his friend's wife (Carey Mulligan) or disdaining a share of royalties to a novelty song that he considers beneath him. While Inside Llewyn Davis looks and sounds gorgeous, its message is as enigmatic as its surly protagonist. A quick glimpse of a certain rising star taking the Gaslight Cafe stage suggests that perhaps Llewyn's troubles are a consequence of the man, not his music. —Neil Morris

This article appeared in print with the headline "Big small films."

Film Details

Inside Llewyn Davis
Rated R · 105 min. · 2013
Official Site: www.insidellewyndavis.com
Director: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Writer: Joel Coen
Producer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen and Scott Rudin
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, F. Murray Abraham, Adam Driver, Max Casella, Ricardo Cordero and Ethan Phillips

Trailer


Now Playing

Inside Llewyn Davis is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Good movie. That showed a career service member can be sold out by BS politicians

by Darin Thigpen Sr on Only military guys can understand (Film Review)

It is a very good film.I really liked it.The film is visual treat to the audience.Suraj Sharma nailed the role …

by Fermin Johnson on Life of Pi is a touching fable (Film Review)

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation