Film review: Inside Llewyn Davis (8 out of 10)

There are various reasons for going to see a movie. Having heard Inside Llewyn Davis was inspired by the memoir of singer/songwriter Dave Van Ronk I was keen to go along as I’ve been a fan of the late American performer for many years.

However, this is more of a snapshot of a life in the folk world of the 1960s in Greenwich Village through the eyes of a selfish and fairly unpleasant musician.

Oscar Isaac in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis.'Photo: Alison Rosa �2012 Long Strange Trip LLC

Oscar Isaac in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis.'Photo: Alison Rosa �2012 Long Strange Trip LLC

Directors and writers the Coen brothers have a slightly different view of the world than most which can be viewed in films such as Burn After Reading, Fargo and Raising Arizona.

This latest effort, though, has more in common with Oh Brother Where Art Thou, and not just because of the music.

We travel around with Llewyn Davis as he struggles to find some sort of fame and, with little money moves from one friend’s couch to another.

He has a string of failed relationships behind him and doesn’t really get on with his family.

Oscar Isaac plays the man himself and proves very handy with a guitar and possesses a decent singing voice.

Carey Mulligan as a former girlfriend and Justin Timberlake as her current partner provide decent back-up.

But perhaps the strongest cameo comes from John Goodman as the strange character Roland Turner, an ageing jazz musician, with whom he travels to Chicago. It’s a strange encounter but one that that resonates as pure Coen Bros.

The colours are all set to a muted grey which adds to a feeling of despair and lonliness. But despite all I’ve said, this isn’t a depressing movie.

There are some enjoyable light touches and laugh out loud moments.

I haven’t mentioned a plot and there’s a good reason - there isn’t really one,

So if you are looking for a rounded film in three acts with a satisfying conclusion then you’ll be disappointed.

However, if you enjoy a film for the experience itself with quality acting and some excellent songs in the folk genre then this may well suit you nicely.

Film details: Inside Llewyn Davis (15) 104mins

Director: Ethan and Joel Coen

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley