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Better Late Than Never: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' (2013)


The Guys from {FILM} is a discussion on movies and films from all eras and genres

Better Late Than Never: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' (2013)

David R. Smith

I was going to do this about Whiplash, because I watched that last week. Incidentally, if you don't follow my Twitter; first of all, shame on you. But more to the point, I've started tweeting when I've taken to watching movies that one is supposed to have seen many months ago. In the past week and change (essentially since Lent ended and I could get back on Netflix) I have seen Inside Out, Whiplash and just last night, Inside Llewyn Davis.

This whole "watching movies that are great" thing is terrific!

I think it's very well known how much I enjoy movies by the Coen brothers. Shaun and I have done a podcast about The Big Lebowski, which is easily my favourite Coen Brothers movie, but was also one of my favourite podcasts. Mostly because it was a conversation I could actually carry instead of just fumbling my way through it like most of the podcasts we do.

I mean - I'm great at what we do!

Anyway, I was pretty jazzed about this movie. My cousin Ben was the first one to bring my attention to it. Or maybe it was my brother. I'm not sure. Either way, it was one of the two of them. It was a movie I was hoping to see in the theatres but it was a pretty quick run in very limited theatres. 

So I got to wait until April 9th, 2016 to watch it. 

Worth it. 

While it wasn't my favourite Coen brothers film (it's pretty hard to beat Lebowski) it was still quite a wonderful movie. 

The remarkable thing about the Coens is their versatility. Going through their catalogue, they have made some incredible movies. A lot of them are just beautiful to watch.

To be honest: this one wasn't. I don't mean that it wasn't a good movie, nor do I mean that it wasn't well shot. It just wasn't as pretty as some of their other movies have been.

And therein was the beauty about this movie.

I don't think this was supposed to be a nice looking film.

Essentially this movie is about a struggling folk musician in the 60s. Although, we never know what the time period is. I legitimately thought it was supposed to take place in the now. They never really get into it, but there are enough indications. The main one being the cars. They're all, well, 60s style. Plus it's about folk music. Everybody knows the 60s where the heyday of folk music. 

So we meet Llewyn and he's playing in a nightclub. He plays one song, and it's really good. Then he gets his ass kicked. And I get confused. So then the next shot, he wakes up on a couch. He leaves a note for the owners of the apartment then as he leaves, so does their cat. So then he has to look after the cat.

It's weird.

...I know I'm not doing much to sell the movie. But it's a Coen Brothers' movie. I'm not sure that I could even sell you on Lebowski. Their stuff is just so... niche? I guess?

Let me put it this way: if you like the Coens, you should like this.

Oscar Isaac is kind of starting to clip, isn't he? Apparently I've seen him in two different things; this and Ex Machina, which we should all remember as one of the... 7 movies I had seen from 2015 when I made my list of top-5 movies

I really appreciated him in this role. Llewyn Davis is a perfect combination of asshole and charming. Exactly what a 60s folk musician should be. People love him, people hate him. But the people who hate him also love him, and the people who love him also hate him. 

It's pretty amazing watching his journey throughout the film. His growth as a musician is inspiring but more than anything, watching his growth as a human being is pretty cool. 

I think, when it comes down to it, that's why I love the Coens so much. They tell stories well but they are so good at writing people. They make you want to watch and they make you want to follow the journey.

I love music, and I love the idea of 60s folk musicians. So while this movie wasn't my favourite of theirs, I still found it compelling.

If I had to complain about something, which seems to be what somebody has to do, I did find it a little slow at times. And I found the ending kind of weird. I mean, like literally the last 3 minutes. Up until then, I was on board. And even the end didn't bother me. I just found it weird.

Anyway, to cut my ramblings short, as it's midnight: I found this to be a very well made movie. I'm glad I finally saw it. It was a long time coming. It wasn't as funny as some of the Coen Brothers movies have a tendency to be, but the story was great. And so was the music. And so was John Goodman. 

I would have enjoyed a Turturro cameo, though.

Until next time, friends!

-D (@davidronn)