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Inside Llewyn Davis Review

What do you know about music … or movies? So, last week, I had the chance to see the new Coen bros. movie, Inside Llewyn Davis. As most Coen bros. movies are, it was breathtaking. I’m constantly impressed by their ability to take on new forms (Western, Comedy, Action, etc. Maybe they’ll do Sci-fi next? {Why couldn’t they be directing the Star Trek or Star Wars reboots?!}) and create brilliant works of art.

I am a Coen bros. fanboy, it’s true. They’re one of the few reasons I still feel that same sort of giddy excitement I used to when I was a teenager going to the movie theater. I was first exposed to them by the movie Fargo, and it has been on my top ten greatest movies list ever since. And while Fargo and No Country For Old Men are in a league of their own, I would say that Inside Llewyn Davis is just a notch below.

Oh yeah? … How much? What makes the Coen bros. great, to me, is their absolute commitment and fidelity to whatever genre or form they choose. As in, they find what is amazing about a particular genre, and they play that card as well as anyone. They’re not trying to reinvent anything. They’re like a restaurant that makes a stupendous cheeseburger. It seems simple, but they focus on the quality of the bun, of the meat, of the cheese. They don’t stuff it with capers or drizzle gold leaves on the meat. They just do it right.

And with this movie, they brought in lots of musical talent to get the feel right. Marcus Mumford was brought in as an Associate Producer, along with many other names. Heck, even Justin Timberlake (who I have found nothing but disdain for {sorry, ladies}) shined in this film, both in his acting and his music. Oscar Isaac, the film’s lead, who I had never before seen in a film to my knowledge, was outstanding.

OK, OK, so you like musicals. No surprise there. Well, that’s just it. It’s not about the music. It’s a powerful character study about an extremely real, human, flawed, and identifiable character. All of the characters in this movie are complicated and compelling, and the writing is top notch. Yes, absolutely, the soundtrack is fantastic (I just bought it yesterday), but you’re not going to see your run-of-the-mill music movie. This is about the man, and it’s powerful stuff. Check out this trailer:

Pretty good, eh? It’s a super limited release, so it’ll be hard to find in theater, but if you can, if it’s less than three hours away, make a road trip and watch this film. You will not be disappointed.

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