Directors and writers Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo, O’ Brother Where Are Thou? and No Country for Old Men) capture the sights and sounds of the ’60s folk music in Inside Llewyn Davis. The Coen brothers show the struggles of a fictional folk singer living in New York City. This is Llewyn Davis’ story. The story begins in the bitterly cold winter of Greenwich Village, NY, where the audience experiences a piece of Davis’ (Oscar Isaac) life in a week. Davis’ former singing partner, Mike, had just recently committed suicide, so now Davis sings solo.
Here we see the highs and lows of Davis trying to get his name out in the world and — most of all — share his passion for music. Isaac delivers the title role with heart and shows us Davis’ raw pain. However, Davis still does not have the best reputation. He mooches off of people’s homes, loses a friend’s cat and gets his best friend Jim’s (Justin Timberlake) wife, Jean, pregnant. But Jean (Carey Mulligan) gives Davis hell for his actions. Mulligan’s words are precise and they cut deep. Later, Davis hitches a ride with junkie jazz musician Ronald Turner (John Goodman) up to Chicago to audition at a big-time studio. Goodman is hilarious and will make you laugh every time he is on screen.
The groundbreaking cinematography and stellar soundtrack of folk music are captivating throughout the film. The Coen brothers matched the film with a soundtrack that really captures the ’60s. The folk music is written with style and is executed superbly in the film. This soundtrack is pure pleasure. Once you have heard this music you won’t want to let it go. The Coen brothers also show us the dark and provocative side of Davis throughout the film. By the end, you will feel Davis’ raw pain for his music. In my opinion, this is by far the best film by the Coen brothers since Fargo and adds another installment to their canon. It's also one of my favorite films of the year. I give it the highest of highs, five out of five stars. Davis’ story comes and goes, but his passion will stay with you forever. If you are a music or film lover I would advise you to go see this film at once.