Inside Llewyn Davis

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Oscar Isaac, Cary Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman. Dark comedy. Written and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Heís gifted in music, though he canít seem to get very far as it is nearing the end for his kind of folk music (Bob Dylan is just coming onto the music scene). The real tragedy is that he doesnít seem to have much character. Heís a user and short of compassion. For example: heís bummed a ride (he does a lot of bumming), but when the driver is pulled over and arrested, Llewyn leaves a fellow passenger, a sleeping, sick, old man unable to walk unassisted, in the backseat, to fend for himself when he awakes. While this may be an example of the Coensí black-as-the-abyss humor, it reveals a man devoid of a soul.

PREVIEW REVIEW: There are exceptions to the rule, but itís awfully hard to like a movie where there are no likable characters. The lead is so disconnected with others, so self-involved that it is hard to root for him. But then, the side characters are just as unsympathetic.

The Coen brothers pay great attention to detail concerning the look of the film, and their biting social commentary is evident in every quip. It is a film hard to ignore as it is so well constructed. The music is great, with Mr. Isaac revealing a charismatic musical presence. But, make a long story short, there isnít anything of spiritual substance inside the filmís ne'er-do-well lead character.

There are critics finding more relevance to this effort than I did. And I must admit that my perception is peppered by a lack of interest in spending time with crude, vulgar and profane screen characters. While I can marvel at the filmmakersí craftsmanship and the castís ability to convey mood swings and their agility with bleak buffoonery, still I was left cold by filmís end. While Iíve had my share of frustrations and failures in my own chosen field, there is nothing inside Llewyn Davisí gritty nastiness that I found relatable or learnable.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
CBS Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude sexual remarks

Obscene Language: Over 90 obscenities, mostly the f-word.

Profanity: Three uses of Godís name followed by a curse and around nine misuses of Jesusí name.

Violence: The lead is hit suddenly by a customer; the lead gives a woman money for an abortion and discusses an earlier time when he did the same for another woman.

Sex: Sex is discussed, but I donít remember seeing any sexual situations.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Drug use, drinking and smoking.

Other: None

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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