“A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.”
I remember seeing the trailer for this film when I went to see American Hustle a while ago and it was exceptionally misleading. It made it seem like it was going to be a very upbeat film about a folk singer making a success of himself with his cat as being both his travelling companion and part of his act and it couldn’t have been more different. Regardless of the misleading trailer, it was up there with The Wolf of Wall Street as one of my favourite films of 2013. Oscar Isaac is simply sensational as Llewyn Davis. I know absolutely nothing about folk music now never mind in the 1960’s or America’s music scene in general in the 60’s but it was so easy to to connect with this character. Brilliant writing and directing by Joel and Ethan Coen mixed with the perfect acting and singing of Oscar Isaac made a quite beautiful film. It was emotional through parts but is also combined some bit of clever, subtle comedy.
Although Llewyn is very much the central character of the film there is a solid wide range of characters and actors. Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake are all the other names on the poster for the film and all play a somewhat strange range of people contributing to the very real feel that the film provides. The film shows Llewyn’s relationships with his family, his friends, strangers, other singers, and people he works with as well as how he deals with this loss of his former friend and singing partner. For Llewyn his way of expression and release is singing and it is the music that turns this into a pretty good but standard drama film into a beautiful piece of cinema.
Something you don’t find in normal films other than in the opening and ending credits are full songs without any interrupting dialogue. What it does in this film is emotionally connect the audience with the already very human Llewyn. I’m not a music expert by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t know how many original songs there were made specifically for the film, if any, but Isaac’s voice was stunning. The choice of music in the film is phenomenal and Isaac’s acting and singing performance is just unbelievable. Drama films are not usually my type of thing so I would say that even if it doesn’t seem like you would enjoy it, just try watching it because it is a very real and very beautiful film.