Maddy’s Movies: I love the Coen brothers, but “Inside Llewyn Davis” was a bit disappointing… and sad

Maddy Mesa

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I don’t know if it’s because “American Hustle” was so amazing or because I love every other Coen brothers’ movie that I have seen, but “Inside Llewyn Davis” was super disappointing to me.

It could be I just don’t get the Coen brothers. They are magnificent film makers though. And I love “True Grit,” “No Country for Old Men,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou” and “Fargo,” but this film is just sad.

Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a folk singer in Greenwich Village, New York in the early 1960s. He’s like Bob Dylan, except he has zero success with his music and everyone hates him. Especially Jean (a cold but brilliant Carey Mulligan), who is not sure if she’s pregnant with his child or her husband’s.

Llewyn just has the worst of luck. His music partner commits suicide, he doesn’t have an address so he is forever hopping from couch to couch of whatever friend that will take him in, and he’s got no money from any of his record sales. Probably because his record label didn’t try that hard at actually selling his records.

Nope, there is just nothing good going on for Davis and this film does not hold back on the bleak outlook of his life. Even the color scheme in this film is grey and muted. Granted it is the winter time so everything does appear cold and hopeless.

The actors do a good job though. Davis’ singing voice is beautiful and I can’t image why he isn’t getting any gigs. Carey Mulligan as Jean appears dead inside. She hates Llyewn (and I mean hates him) calling him King Midas’ stupid brother where everything he touches turns to shit. The other minor characters (Justin Timberlake, Jeanine Serralles and John Goodman, just to name a few) appear in the film so briefly but never fail to remind Llewyn of how much his life sucks.

John Goodman is the only one that brought life (and laughs) to this movie. I’m not even sure who his character Roland Turner is supposed to be, but the film perked up for me whenever he was on screen.

The more I think about it, this film could have been beyond me. I went in thinking it was going to be one thing but it ended up being something totally different than what I imaged.

The music is good, but the lyrics are terrible and comically so. Perhaps that was the Coen brothers’ point of the film. To show that life during the ‘60s in Greenwich Village wasn’t all about peace, love and good folk songs. There were some bleak times and awkward music being tried out (like Timberlake’s character’s song about space men and President Kennedy) and not everyone made it big. After all, not everyone can be Bob Dylan.

Don’t worry if the ending confuses you, because I’m still trying to figure out how all these events took place and in what order.

I give “Inside Llewyn Davis” two out of four record deals. I’m not saying it was a horrible film, just one I didn’t really understand and one you don’t want to see during the holidays. Or maybe you do. Maybe seeing the bad stuff and pitiful situations that befall young Llewyn will make you grateful for what you have.

Coen brothers, I love you dearly and most of your movies, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Please don’t hate me.