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Inside Llewyn Davis, 2013.
Cannes Festival darlings Ethan and Joel Cohen return to the Croisette and to magnificent form with the eponymous tale of failed folk singer - and a failure in so many other things - Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac).
The film opens in 1961 on the cusp of the Us folk revival. In an underground bar somewhere in the Village, Llewyn gives the audience a couple of songs before heading outside, where "a man in a suit" is waiting for him. Llewyn takes a beating and so his journey begins. We see this wandering minstrel awakening in a lovely apartment (not his - he's on the couch) and heading out the door, but not before the cat has come with him. This cat (or cats) will play a fundamental part in Llewyn's story. »
- Flickering Myth
Critically acclaimed film focuses on struggling musician amid folk-revival scene from which Bob Dylan would emerge
Despite a day lashed by biblical torrents of rain, critics had a spring in their step as they left Cannes' Palais des Festivals on Saturday night, elbowing their way into a forest of umbrellas. The explanation was simple: Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen brothers' latest offering, was roundly greeted as a joyful masterpiece and a serious contender for this year's Palme d'Or.
If the brothers did win, it would be the first time the Cannes favourites have taken the top prize since 1991, when Barton Fink was awarded the Palme.
Inside Llewyn Davis is set in 1961 in New York, amid the folk-revival scene from which Bob Dylan would emerge. But this is not a story about the singer-songwriter, whom Ethan Coen called "the elephant in the room" of the film. The story, inspired by the »
- Charlotte Higgins
Cannes has always been good to the Coens, the festival's heady blend of arthouse and popularity suiting them down to the ground. In 1991, Barton Fink won the Palme d'Or as well as acting and directing awards. Fargo and The Man Who Wasn't There both won directing gongs and they've had seven films in competition. Their latest work, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - a picaresque odyssey in the life of an also-ran folk songster - must be a firm favourite for a prize in this edition as well. It's the early sixties, well before Dylan, Phil Ochs and Peter, Paul and Mary, and folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is waiting for his big break.
It's winter in New York and his adventures are both comically trivial (he loses a friend's cat) and potentially dramatic (he's just got his friend's wife, Jean (Carey Mulligan), pregnant). Davis is beginning to realise that he may not fulfil his dreams. »
- CineVue UK
Cannes - For artists now closing in on their thirtieth year of sustained filmmaking success, Joel and Ethan Coen still find an inordinate amount of inspiration in failure. From Barton Fink to Larry Gopnik to the Dude himself, underachievement – whether by personal or social standards – has been the hallmark of many a great Coen hero, sometimes more proudly (and more deservedly) than others. To this estimable gallery of schmucks, we can now add Llewyn Davis: a sincerely talented musician, a compellingly gauche social maladjust and, as played by the winningly rumpled Oscar Isaac, star of one of the brothers’ »
- Guy Lodge
Joel and Ethan Coen have never made a movie that didn’t have at least a few big bubbles of perversity percolating through it. That said, one of the ways that I divide their work in my mind is that there are the Coen brothers films in which the perversity stays, for the most part, just below the surface (Blood Simple, Fargo, A Serious Man), which tend to be the Coen brothers movies that I love best. And there are the ones in which perversity stands up and pokes you in the eye (Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, O Brother, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Long hours on the road, sleeping on sofas, eating very little, playing shows for little money; it's a wonder why anyone struggles to make it as a musician. But for Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) there really isn't any other option to playing music. "...And what, just exist?" he counters, when his sister suggests he stops couch surfing, borrowing money and barely getting by, and re-enter the Merchant Marine. While Llewyn can't quite put into words the passion that sustains an existence perpetually on the fringes, hustling for the next dollar, it's that weary energy that drives the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis." It's another excellent study from the filmmakers of an ordinary man caught in a tailspin. But unlike the Dude who abides, or Larry Gopnik, who endures one cruel twist of fate after another or perhaps Barton Fink, who's in over his head, Llewyn is fighting against his own talent. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street” easily could have been about the parasitic, untrustworthy, unreliable, moderately talented screw-up at the heart of the Coen brothers’ enthralling Inside Llewyn Davis. Set in, but not comprehensively about, the Greenwich Village folk music scene circa 1961, this is a gorgeously made character study leavened with surrealistic dimensions both comic and dark, an unsparing look at a young man who, unlike some of his contemporaries, can’t transcend his abundant character flaws and remake himself as someone else. Closer to some of the Coens’ smaller films such as Barton Fink and A Serious Man than to
- Todd McCarthy
The sounds of the early 1960s folk music revival float on the air like a strange, intoxicating perfume in the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” a boldly original, highly emotional journey through Greenwich Village nightclubs, a bleak New York winter, and one man’s fraught efforts to reconcile his life and his art. A product of the same deeply personal end of the Coens’ filmmaking spectrum previously responsible for the likes of “Barton Fink” and “A Serious Man,” this darkly comic musical drama with an elliptical narrative and often brusque protagonist won’t corral the same mass audience as “No Country for Old Men” and “True Grit.” But strong reviews — for the pic itself and its stupendous soundtrack — should make this December release an awards-season success for distrib CBS Films.
As they did with the 1940s Hollywood setting of “Barton Fink,” the Coens have again taken a real time and »
- Scott Foundas
Park Pictures Features announced today Academy Award®-winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, is set to star in God’S Pocket, the upcoming film directorial debut from Emmy®-nominee John Slattery. Slattery adapted the screenplay with Alex Metcalf from the novel by National Book Award Winning author Pete Dexter. Academy Award®-nominee Richard Jenkins, Emmy Award®-nominee Christina Hendricks and award winning actor John Turturro will co-star. Jay Cohen of Gersh will handle all film sales.
Park Pictures Features will produce the film in partnership with Hoffman’s Cooper’s Town Productions and Slattery’s Shoestring Pictures, which makes its producing debut with this film. Acclaimed director/cinematographer Lance Acord has signed on to shoot the film, which will be produced by Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Slattery, Lance Acord and Galt Niederhoffer, for Park Pictures and Emily Ziff and Hoffman for Cooper’s Town. The film will be executive produced »
- Michelle McCue
The Cannes film festival is the single most prestigious film festival in the world. Known for fostering and cultivating cinematic auteurs from every region of the globe, it is a festival that commonly rewards films with high aspirations towards what the art of cinema could and should be. The festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or, has been bestowed on such lofty films as Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard, Claude Lelouch’s A Man and a Woman, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup, Lars Van Trier’s Dancer in the Dark, and Cristian Mungui’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days.
It may come as no surprise then, given Cannes’ inclination towards high-brow world cinema, that the Oscars and the Croisette don’t often cross paths in terms of which films they consider deserving of awards. In fact, only once has the Academy’s selection for Best Picture coincided with the Palme d’Or winner, »
- Christopher Lominac
For even those most accustomed to the frenzy of celebrity, the Cannes Film Festival can be a disorienting experience.
For 12 days every year, the French Rivera resort town turns into one giant seaside swirl of glamour, high art and backroom deal-making. Like some sun-drenched phantasm, all of cinema comes alive in Cannes: its serious ambitions, bottom-line commerce and crass spectacle.
"Every time I go to Cannes, it feels like I'm entering the helicopter scene in `La Dolce Vita,'" says Leonardo DiCaprio. "It's an insane experience. The entire town is turned into a red carpet. Every hotel is a premiere. But at the same time, it is the mecca for the world to celebrate filmmaking and bold filmmaking."
This year's Cannes, the 66th, kicks off Wednesday with Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," a 3-D extravaganza starring DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire. In many ways, the movie's lavish, star-powered decadence epitomizes Cannes. »
Chandor, who made an impressive debut with Margin Call in 2011, ventures far from Wall Street — and dry land — for this followup, starring Robert Redford as a man lost at sea in a movie that purports to have even less spoken dialogue than “The Artist.” “Life of Pi” minus the tiger? Ideal viewing for Cannes’ beachside Cinema de la Plage? Only time will tell.
“Behind the Candelabra” (Steven Soderbergh)
Though it will premiere on HBO while the festival is still in full swing, it’s still hard not to be excited by the prospect of this long-planned Liberace biopic from retiring renaissance man Soderbergh, with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon” (two actors Soderbergh has made excellent use of in the past) surrounded by Rob Lowe, Dan Aykroyd and Debbie Reynolds. Bring on the sequins!
With its raw, feral performance by »
- Scott Foundas, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge
Updated: A new Red Band trailer and poster for "Inside Llewyn Davis" have just been released. Check out both below. Earlier: CBS Films is finally going to show its true colors under new co-presidents Terry Press and Wolfgang Hammer. They scooped up the Coen brothers' latest indie feature, "Inside Llewyn Davis," with an eye on award season. One reason it has a shot: it's about the struggles of an artist, a Village folk musician. That's inside the Academy's sweet spot. So are Oscar-winning writer-directors, Joel and Ethan Coen ("Fargo," "No Country for Old Men"). With Oscar campaign veterans Press, producer Scott Rudin and Strategy PR's Cynthia Swartz behind it, the film has a shot. Sure enough, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is going to Cannes next week, where the Coens will compete for the eighth time for the Palme d'Or (they won for "Barton Fink" and took home best director for »
- Anne Thompson
The 66th annual Cannes Film Festival kicks off a week today, so it won’t be long before we’ll start hearing the first reviews coming in for The Coen Brothers’ In Competition work, Inside Llewyn Davis, which is easily one of the most anticipated films of the festival. Regular punters won’t be able to get their hands on it until December, making those who manage to see it at the Croisette all the more lucky.
The first trailer dropped in rather unassuming fashion several months ago, and word has been pretty quiet ever since. Given that the picture is a whole 7 months away from playing the Us (and another month on top of that for the UK), perhaps that’s a smart strategy, especially as far as awards season goes – nobody wants to run out of steam on the road to Oscar glory.
Here are 6 reasons to be excited for Inside Llewyn Davis… »
- Shaun Munro
They’re not the most well-known, they don’t make the most money, and they don’t always get the credit they deserve, but the best character actors make an indelible mark on any movie. Generally considered to be an actor who avoids leading roles in favor of supporting ones, character actors often play eccentrics or characters that would be harder for a traditional actor to tackle.
In some ways, by taking on limited roles, character actors are able to maximise their impact and leave a more substantial impression on a film. Known for their versatility, work ethic, and willingness to blend into a film, character actors are some of the most important performers in Hollywood.
To make this list, an actor must still be actively making movies, and they were ranked by a combination of their resumes and abilities…
10. John Goodman
A frequent collaborator of the Coen Brothers, John Goodman »
- Paul Sorrells
Judy Davis sounds vaguely discombobulated when she picks up the phone. The 58-year-old actor is at home in Sydney on a Friday evening. What have I interrupted? "Oh, nothing," she sighs. "I was just tidying." She asks how I am. I tell her I just got up (it's the time difference), and she sighs again and says: "Oh God."
Anyone who knows Davis's work will appreciate the disdain she can bring to a simple exhalation. Withering contempt is her on-screen stock-in-trade; her repertoire for expressing it includes an array of tics and twitches, a drop-dead stare and a temper seen to blistering effect in some of her films for Woody Allen, including Husbands and Wives and Deconstructing Harry. »
- Ryan Gilbey
Paris — The Cannes Film Festival's 2013 lineup announced Thursday features work from some of the globe's most dangerous locales for artists, and a sprinkling of works by old favorites including Roman Polanski, the Coen brothers and Steven Soderbergh.
Celebrating world cinema from countries with limited freedom of expression is clearly one of this year's stories, with works from Chad, China, Mexico and Iran among the 19 films competing for the Palme d'Or, one of cinema's most coveted prizes.
"The festival is a house that shelters artists in danger," said Cannes President Gilles Jacob, who announced the nominees Thursday.
Harking from Africa, "Grigris" by Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, will feature alongside "The Life of Adele" from French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche. "Zulu" – a police thriller shot in South Africa and starring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom – will close the festival but is not competing.
The list also includes "A Touch of Sin" by »
Steven Spielberg’s jury will have no shortage of Hollywood talent to sift through on the Croisette this year. Heralding a strong showing for American auteurs, Palme d’Or laureates Steven Soderbergh and Joel and Ethan Coen will square off with Alexander Payne and James Gray at the star-packed 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, announced by delegate general Thierry Fremaux and president Gilles Jacob at a Paris press conference on Thursday.
In light of earlier announcements – that Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” would open the festival, that Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” would kick off Un Certain Regard, and that Spielberg would serve as president of the main competition jury – it comes as little surprise that this year’s lineup is so top-heavy with U.S. and English-language fare, even as it reflects healthy strains of international filmmaking, especially from Europe and Asia.
The Coen brothers, »
- Justin Chang
For this year’s April Fools’ gag we wanted to challenge you, dear reader, to a Where’s Waldo of movie references. Our resident webcomic artist Derek Bacon obliged with a view into our day-to-day operations at Fsr HQ where 39 movie references were scattered around between all the scenes of hard work. With a $50 Fandango Gift Card on the line, we had close to 400 entries (via email and Facebook) and we’re pleased to announce Sheri Young of Boston, Mass as our big winner. You can still check out the full image to challenge yourself, but beyond the jump is our handy guide to all the (intentional) movie references we made: Click to Largify Loki’s mask from The Mask Captain America’s shield Everyone’s friend, Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey Michael “Awesome” Bay The Maltese Falcon from, yes, The Maltese Falcon Marty’s Hoverboard from the Back to the Future movies Weekend Editor Christopher Campbell »
- Scott Beggs
They see everything and say nothing, inhabiting a half-way world full of contradictions. But what are the five best films about live-in domestics?
This week's Clip joint is by Claire Adas, an independent film-maker and freelance writer based in Lambertville, NJ. Claire writes about film, food and life at her blog Out of the Ordinary. If you've got an idea for a future Clip joint, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They might live in your home, but they're not part of the family. They know more about you than any of your acquaintances, but you wouldn't call them friends. They care for your most treasured possessions, or they care for your greatest treasure of all – your children – but they're not accorded the admiration of a person who owns fine things, or the respect of a parent. Such is the strange existence of live-in domestics, men and »
- Guardian readers
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