“Everything you touch turns to shit!” Inside Llewyn Davis.

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.

inside_llewyn_davis_ver2The 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.

Inside-Llewyn-Davis Cat

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.

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20 thoughts on ““Everything you touch turns to shit!” Inside Llewyn Davis.

  1. keith7198 January 26, 2014 at 7:35 pm Reply

    I certainly won’t attempt to ‘correct’ you. That’s just not how movies work in my eyes. The cool thing about them is how they effect people differently. Who’s to say either of our opinions are “right”?

    That said, I really liked this film. I too left the theater a bit detached. But over time I’ve began to really appreciate what the Coen brothers were doing. There are so many different things that they play with. Everything from the struggling artist to mortality. I also found it to be an interesting character study. I was mesmerized by Llewyn as his self-destructive attitudes. So many different opportunities, both musically and otherwise, are all around him but he is his own worst enemy. It’s interesting that you mentioned Mulligan. I found her to be the flimsiest character. Just when you think she’s going to offer something new they take her away.

    But overall I love this film but I can also see where people would have problems with it. Neither of us are right. It’s just how it affected us individually.

    • myreelpov January 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm Reply

      Yes I agree and usually wouldn’t apologise for my opinion, but with so much positive feedback I felt like I probably should have liked it more! I can’t lie though, not a fan. Glad you enjoyed it and can see where you are coming with the different angles they looked at. Thanks for commenting as always 🙂

  2. Mark Walker January 26, 2014 at 8:03 pm Reply

    It’s not often, if ever, that I’ve really not taken to a Coens movie. That being said, I take your opinion on board. I’m hoping to catch it tomorrow.

    • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm Reply

      Hope you do enjoy it, just not my cup of tea. Which is weird because I pretty much rave about every film.

  3. liamdoesfilm January 26, 2014 at 11:01 pm Reply

    Fair review, this film can be looked at as pointless as it doesn’t have a strong story if a creditable one at all, however I got a strong message about what to do in struggling times, that made it come alive. Technical aspects have to be applauded as they were amazing! Coen brothers were brilliant here I think, however that’s cinema and film it changes for each person. Good review nevertheless 🙂

    • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm Reply

      I probably should have been a little more diplomatic at the time of writing my review haha. I can’t think of any messages about hard times except everything goes round in circles… which is quite a depressing thought! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      • liamdoesfilm January 27, 2014 at 5:40 pm

        It can be very depressing film, especially if you’re not a fan of the music! 🙂

      • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm

        It wasn’t so much the music, I was actually wondering if you can buy the soundtrack haha. It’s the idea of inevitable failure that I didn’t enjoy I guess.

      • liamdoesfilm January 27, 2014 at 9:46 pm

        I was hoping you can too, for now though its YouTube 🙂

  4. CMrok93 January 26, 2014 at 11:44 pm Reply

    Good review. I can see why some out there would be unimpressed with this one. In all honesty, I actually wasn’t too fond of this movie after I saw it and originally thought about it. However, time went on and I began to appreciate it just a bit more. Then again though, that’s just me and I’m a Coen Brothers nut.

    • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm Reply

      Yes I probably should have reflected a little more before writing my review, I still know I didn’t enjoy it but probably should have commented more on its positive side. I wasn’t feeling very positive afterwards and this really shows reading back!

  5. sidekickreviews January 27, 2014 at 7:27 am Reply

    Good honest review for sticking to your point of view. I personally enjoyed the heck out this film and I’m far from a Coen Brothers fan. Keith’s comments and review pretty much sum up what I’m thinking haha. 🙂

    • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm Reply

      Yes I perhaps should have reflected more, but I think I still would have written a pretty negative review – this makes a nice change though as everything I have been writing about recently have been rave reviews. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop January 27, 2014 at 9:59 am Reply

    Interesting review! Seeing this this week and I can’t wait!

    • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm Reply

      Well don’t take my comments on board before you go in, I would hate to spoil it for anyone who really would enjoy it. It just isn’t for me!

  7. Hypersonic55 January 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Well, well, well, so this is the aggressive side of you eh? Scary.

    No but in all seriousness though this was a cracking and honest review that to a degree I can agree with a lot. Firstly though let’s talk about the one thing we did agree on… ETHAN PHILIPS! When I saw you mention him in Voyager I freaked out a little, for the longest time I’ve been so alone in being one of the few fans of Star Trek: Voyager and having nuff love for Neelix. Gotta give you more respect now haha 😀

    Now let’s talk about the actual film a little more. I can agree with you about the cast, not many of them are that likeable especially Llewyn who is pretty much a douche, however I think it was at the point when he was ready to give up is when I could relate because I too have felt similar to him in other areas of my life. Also Mulligan even though she’s a bitch, she acts so well. Timberlake and Hedlund were wasted, ESPECIALLY Hedlund, he barely did anything. But I think why I scored the film fairly high was due to the music numbers, I don’t love folk music, but I recognise beautiful music when I hear it and that film had my ears captivated.

    • myreelpov January 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm Reply

      Yes I thought the music was amazing but it just wasn’t the right atmosphere to enjoy it for me. Sit me in that smokey bar and id happily stay and listen to him for hours! I wanted to be entertained and I just found myself thinking “where is this going?!” And actually being a bit irritated by it. I can see why people would enjoy it, I do like films that kind of float along, a bit like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints earlier last year. Anyway I am rambling!! Glad you liked it, and I’m glad you’re not going to disown me after that harsh review haha. Also feeling the love for Neelix, the best bar tender in space haha!

  8. Zoë January 28, 2014 at 8:40 am Reply

    Excellent review! I still want to see this though, just to see what the hype is about!

    • myreelpov January 28, 2014 at 9:42 am Reply

      Don’t let me put you off! Just wasn’t for me, you might really enjoy it!

      • Zoë January 28, 2014 at 9:46 am

        Who knows?! Love the diversity of people’s taste!

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