2013: #4 Inside Llewyn Davis

Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen
Written by:  Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, and Justin Timberlake
Distributer: CBS Films
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Date released: 12/20/2013
Date seen: 12/21/2013
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $23 Million
# of Oscar nominations: 2 (Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing)
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 4 (Best Musical Performance, Best Actor, Best Ensemble, and Best Original Screenplay)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 2 (Best Musical Performance and Best Original Screenplay)

What can I say, the Coen brothers did it again.  Inside Llewyn Davis is a character study about a character who isn’t immediately likable but with whom the audience can find some sympathy.  It’s the Coen’s ability to walk that tricky tightrope that makes the film so impressive.  The film accurately recreates the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene and Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography accurately recreates the color palate of the cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Freewheeling Bob Dylan” album, but this is no ode to the life of the starving artist.  Llewyn Davis has a prickly personality and for the most part he gets what he deserves.  This makes the film a sort of reversal of their 2009 film A Serious Man, in which bad things happened to a largely innocent man.  If the misfortunes of Larry Gopnik seemed like a biblical wrath being unleashed against an innocent Job figure, the trials of Llewyn Davis seem almost karmic in nature and the film’s cyclical structure underscores the film’s oddly Buddhist undercurrents.  What make this misfortune tragic is that Davis does seem to be a legitimately talented musician who could find some success if he were to leave behind his penchant for self-sabotage.
Full Review

#5 Year End Honors #3

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