Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedland, Adam Driver
Director: Joel & Ethan Coen
A week in the life of Llewyn Davis (Isaac), a failing folk singer in 60’s Greenwich Village, who goes from couch to couch, hoping to make it and mourning for the singing partner that he lost. Llewyn is not a very nice man, snapping at people, sleeping with their girlfriends, losing their beloved pets and generally being belligerent. And with his talents generally being considered nice but not special, it seems a hopeless case.
It’s A Must See Because: This is one of those Coen brothers films that have a hopeless protagonist who can’t get out of his own way, and actually isn’t very nice, and yet from that central conceit, all the humour and cynicism rises that makes the story so arresting and unusual.
Whilst watching this film, there is a scene in a car with John Goodman, in which Goodman states that if Llewyn keeps being rude, that as a practitioner of voodoo he’ll put a curse on him, and that when his life is falling apart down the line he’ll realise he’s been cursed. It’s a small scene, a moment really, and it’s very funny. But with the start and finish of the film mirroring each other, I wondered whether one reading of the film might be that the curse is real, and that Lewlyn is perhaps stuck living the worst week of his life over and over. It’s just a thought.
See It If: should make Coen brothers fans happy, and those of you who love folk music, or films that have a bit of quirk and humour.