After films such as ‘The Big Lebowski’, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ and ‘Burn After Reading’ I was looking forward to Inside Llewyn Davis tremendously. The Coen brothers are great at making an entertaining film out of very little story line… So forgive me for the review that follows because this film did not cut the mustard.
The story of a struggling musician in New York, named ‘Inside’ Llewyn Davis, I assumed this might be a great story of rising fame, perhaps he gets into some hilarious hi-jinx, maybe it’s an in depth character study about how this man came to be a musician, his inspirations?… perhaps something happens, anything really. This was my thought process through the entirety of the film, just when you think something might happen, the opportunity drifts by and there are more shots of melancholy faces with a hazy filter on the lens. The repetition of very quiet scenes cutting to unnecessarily loud train journeys were probably a bid to keep the audience awake.
On the other hand it’s got a few big names in it, surely they must have brought something to the film? Justin Timberlake may as well have been an extra, Carey Mulligan was good but her character is not likeable, my favourite part was played by Ethan Phillips and that’s purely because he is Neelix in Star Trek Voyager. John Goodman brought the only laughs out of me but even then his part was too short to have any significance. I think that is what this film lacks, any kind of significance.
Maybe I am being a little harsh, surely the titular character has some redeeming characteristics that draw you in to his life? Well it turns out Davis isn’t nice or a good guy, and I was not invested in his journey at all. I didn’t care if he failed or succeeded. This isn’t any reflection on the actor Oscar Isaac, he played the part very well and he has a beautiful voice, clearly a talented man. I did enjoy the music, but oh my was I depressed when I left the cinema.
Did I fall asleep and miss the point, maybe I am just in a bad mood and didn’t receive the film as well as I should have (although I had two friends with me that were checking their watches). I am confused by the rave reviews and high scores on popular review sights (7.9 on IMDB and a shocking 94% on Rotten Tomatoes?!) but I am pretty convinced the pull of the Coen brothers has something to do with that.
I am sure I will be ‘corrected’ by those that don’t agree (seemingly all other reviewers), but I did not rate this film. My POV, good music, nice cinematography, fine direction, incredibly boring story, uninteresting characters… swerve it.