Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 26, 2013

Movie Review: Inside Llewyn Davis

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — Early 1960s folk singer Llewyn Davis is talented, but homeless and down on his luck since losing the singing partner he had when his career had real success. 

Viewers are treated to approximately two days in the life of Davis (played brilliantly by Oscar Isaac) in which we see he's broke, has angered his friends and made poor decisions. Throughout it all, he doesn't really seek sympathy, but rather handouts and a chance to improve himself and his life. 

I believe this is a good film for a fan of Joel and Ethan Coen, but I don't see it as having the wide range, commercial success of “The Big Lebowski.” It's too unique, but unique in a very good way. 

This film made me laugh and come close to tears at some points. It's kind of hard to review because you just have to see it to appreciate it. The laughs come easily, but I'm afraid of spoiling it for you by giving you too many details as to the situations in which Davis finds himself. 

Isaac does a great job of carrying the film, but in his musical talents and acting ability. He is aided very well by funny performances from Justin Timberlake, John Goodman and many others. 

The original music in this film (I have had the tune “Please Mr. Kennedy” stuck in my head, in a good way, since I watched the movie) is outstanding, if it's your kind of music. Even if folk music isn't your favorite genre, you have to respect it for what it is. 

As for most Coen brothers' films, the language used is not for sensitive ears. There really isn't much other objectionable material in it. The film moves at a good pace and the laughs come in steadily.