Inside Llewyn Davis

Surprise! He's a folk dick.

Like everyone else this holiday season, Llewyn Davis is a total dick—the chief difference being he’s got a guitar and no fixed address. He’s knocked up Jean (Carey Mulligan, in a delightful, swears-laden appearance), he doesn’t have any money, he’s a burden on all of his friends and he can’t even scrounge up a winter coat. On the plus side? He’s a great songwriter and beautiful singer and he’s bumming around Greenwich Village in the 1960s, when his brand of unadorned, confessional folk music is becoming a whole thing. Inside Llewyn Davis is written and directed by the Coen brothers, and it benefits from their typical distant tone—the east coast winter feels extra cold, Llewyn’s arrogance feels extra unearned. It’s a slice-of-life film featuring wonderful folk compositions—though its best scene is a recording of novelty jam “Please Mr. Kennedy” with Justin Timberlake and national treasure Adam Driver—and Oscar Isaacs, as Llewyn, takes the starring opportunity and runs with it. Will remind you of people you know, and not in a good way.

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