The 1961 Greenwich Village folk music scene is the rich setting for the latest Coen brothers triumph, the brilliant Inside Llewyn Davis.
Featuring a knockout performance from Oscar Isaac as the title character, and the usual topnotch writing and directing from brothers Joel and Ethan, it’s easily one of the year’s best films. The movie, loosely based on the life of late folk singer Dave Van Ronk, follows Llewyn as he surfs couches with somebody’s orange tabby in tow, sporting a pretty bad attitude after the loss of a friend. Carey Mulligan plays the married woman he may’ve impregnated, and she does beautiful things with reserved rage. John Goodman is stellar as a jazz musician in the back seat of a car Llewyn travels in as he heads to Chicago for the audition of his life. The cast is full of rich Coen characters played by the likes of Justin Timberlake, F. Murray Abraham, Adam Driver and Max Casella. Isaac and the cast do their own guitar playing and singing, with Isaac being especially impressive during his solo numbers. As with all Coen movies, this looks amazing, and features great laughs mixed with the somber tones. I couldn’t love these guys more.