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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Movie Review - Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake
Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

My movie-going relationship with Joel and Ethan Coen is an interesting one.  I recognize their importance in the cinematic landscape and that they've crafted some real winners -- A Serious Man, The Hudsucker Proxy -- and also some disappointing flicks that I probably overrated simply because of the supposed pedigree carried by the duo --  O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Barton Fink.  Inside Llewyn Davis unfortunately falls into the latter category as it follows a brief period of time in the life of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a folk singer living in New York City in the early 1960s as he struggles to get a record contract after his former duet partner committed suicide a few years prior.

I'm sure there's something "deep" that I'm missing, but I couldn't help but be bored while watching this.  Oscar Isaac gives a nice performance as the title character, but I never found the script allowed me to really connect with his struggles for some reason.  It's not that he was an unlikable guy or that his plight is unrelatable, but perhaps his lack of enthusiasm towards anything made his status as a lead character particularly humdrum.  Somewhat surprisingly, secondary characters like John Goodman, Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake aren't really allowed to step up and inject a bit of life and humor into the mix either, so the whole thing plays rather one-note stuck between this not-too-dark yet not-too-funny middle ground that never takes off.

The film looks nice and, as I mentioned, the acting is good, but nothing about this film excited me or motivated me to say anything really positive in my review, which in and of itself seems like a fairly damning statement.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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