Inside Llewyn Davis Among Coens' Best

Critics rave about musical tale

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 6, 2013 6:15 PM CST

(Newser) – The Coen brothers' latest film tells the dark tale of a folk musician in Greenwich Village in 1961. Though you might not want to befriend Llewyn, his story is well worth a watch—in fact, some critics are calling Inside Llewyn Davis a candidate for the Coens' best. A sampling of reviews:

  • "While the bleak, funny, exquisitely made Inside Llewyn Davis echoes familiar themes and narrative journeys, it also goes its own way and becomes a singular experience, one of (the brothers') best films," writes Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. Its "sympathy with the plight of artists in general" makes the film "an unexpectedly emotional piece."

  • Andrew O'Hehir has "already heard from people who haven’t enjoyed this movie because they found couch-surfing, folk-purist, arrogant Llewyn too unpleasant a character to spend two hours in his company," he writes at Salon. But star Oscar Isaac offers "the year’s breakout performance," and the movie is "one of the Coens’ richest, strangest, and most potent."
  • At RogerEbert.com, Glenn Kenny says the film has "the most satisfyingly diabolical cinematic structure that the Coens have ever contrived, and that's just one reason that I suspect it may be their best movie yet." It's "full of devastating scenes. And full of quick, devastating observations."
  • Inside Llewyn Davis is as "enigmatic" as its lead character, writes Claudia Puig in USA Today. It's also "brilliantly acted, gorgeously shot and altogether captivating," offering "sly humor and a profound undercurrent of tragedy."

This film image released by CBS FIlms shows Oscar Isaac in a scene from Inside Llewyn Davis.
This film image released by CBS FIlms shows Oscar Isaac in a scene from "Inside Llewyn Davis."   (AP Photo/CBS FIlms, Alison Rosa)
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A trailer for the film.   (YouTube)

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