Blu-ray Review “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Actors: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
Directors: The Coen Brothers
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Run Time: 104 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Whenever I see the Coen Brothers are coming out with a new film my interest always peak. When I read that “Inside Llewyn Davis” was going to be based around the work of folk music, it quickly made my most anticipated movie list. I do not really feel that this film got the attention that it deserved. Oscar Isaac delivered some an amazing performance, I literally had trouble taking my eyes off the screen. There was something about this film that kept my interested the entire 104 minutes. The music was amazing and all sung by each of the respective actors. Along with Isacc performance, there are some fantastic supporting roles delivered by Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake. Each was like a perfectly executed cameo, especially Goodman. If you are a fan of the Coen Brothers’ films, I highly recommend this since it is probably not for everyone.

Official Premise: “Inside Llewyn Davis” follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles – some of them of his own making. Living at the mercy of both friends and strangers, scaring up what work he can find, Llewyn’s misadventures take him from the baskethouses of the Village to an empty Chicago club – on an odyssey to audition for a music mogul – and back again.

Sony delivered “Inside Llewyn Davis” on Blu-ray along with an HD Digital Ultraviolet copy. The 1080p really captures that 1960’s New York feel to it. It looks gritty yet very sharp at the same time. The music performed by Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan, as well as Marcus Mumford and Punch Brothers sounds absolutely amazing with the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. This is the Coen Brothers’ fourth collaboration with multiple-Grammy and Academy Award-winning music producer T-Bone Burnett and it was a great decision. There is only one special feature included but it is quite impressive, though I would have loved to seen a commentary track also. ““Inside Inside Llewyn Davis” is an in-depth 40-minute, making-of documentary with interviews from the filmmakers, cast, crew and musicians involved with the film.


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Film Review “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Starring: Oscar Issac, Justin Timberlake and F. Murray Abraham
Directed by: Ethan and Joel Coen
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 45 mins
CBS Films

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

In the early 1960s folk music began its rise. Musicians from all over would come to New York City to play small clubs in Greenwich Village, hoping to make a few bucks and get their messages out. One of them is Llewyn Davis (Issac). Talented, but clearly unlovable, we meet Llewyn as he sings in a small club. After his performance he’s told that “his friend in the suit” wanted to talk with him in the alley. He soon finds himself being beaten. It is this event which bookends the latest film by the Coen brothers, “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

Sharply written and filmed with the Coen’s usual sharp eye for detail, the film follows Llewyn (Isaac) as he attempts to make a living with his music. On the street and walking around with a neighbor’s cat, Davis plays little clubs and passes the hat most of the time. And while it’s agreed that he’s quite talented, it’s also agreed that he’s a real horse’s ass! His musical partner gone, his career stalled and his agent now representing others, Davis realizes his one chance is to audition and play at a club run by the legendary Bud Grossman (Abraham) outside of Chicago.

Filled with great performances, including Timberlake and Carey Mulligan as a folk duo, the film’s high point is its outstanding musical score, overseen by Oscar winner T. Bone Burnett (“Crazy Heart”). The songs fit the time and mood of the country, from anti-war protests to a song asking President Kennedy NOT to send a man to the moon. All involved, from pro JT to actor Isaac sing beautifully and if you enjoy the film you’ll surely want to go out and buy the soundtrack CD. As Llewyn is a person better heard, and not seen, you may go ahead and thank me now for the suggestion.