By Andrew McClure, Daily Arts Writer
Published February 7, 2013
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
The Coen brothers don’t create characters that embody idiosyncrasies. They create idiosyncrasies that embody characters. The Dude in “The Big Lebowski,” Chad Feldheimer in “Burn After Reading” and Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit” all qualify as once-in-a-lifetime individuals. Their latest effort, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” unsurprisingly fits the bill: an itinerant folksinger overshadowed by the likes of Bob Dylan. It’s a Coen film, all right.
The plot points should align by themselves given the dynamite roster of talent. Oscar Isaac (“Drive”) as Llewyn Davis complements landlords Carey Mulligan (“Shame”) and her husband Justin Timberlake (“The Social Network”). Thrown into the mix, John Goodman (“Flight”) and Garrett Hedlund (“On the Road”) seem to offer stellar yet subdued supporting roles. Should be a muted spectacle.
The look of the film has attitude. A subtle blue filter, sometimes referred to as a “net,” is placed atop the camera lens to achieve a cooler, softer, fuzzier image. The effect is visible. The characters seem to glow ethereally, somehow legitimizing them as sincere people.
A dark comedy? Sure. A piercing character study? Doubtlessly. Llewyn Davis is a puny star in the cosmos of bigger and better talent. But it’s not about raw talent or connections. It’s about excelling at the right time in front of the right people. We’re all rooting for you, Llewyn. Crush it out there.