Follow a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. 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. Written by
The author of Peter Pan based Pan off of the boys of the Llewelyn-Davies family. This may be Llewyn Davis' namesake, because he shares traits with Peter Pan like irresponsibility and carelessness, or a cool coincidence. See more »
Near the end of the movie, Llweyn walks past a movie theater and the billboard shows a poster of The Incredible Journey. The movie wasn't released until 1963. See more »
Most of this movie is watching Llewyn run around trying to figure out where to sleep and where he can get a bit of money. He's a bit of a jerk so it's sort of fitting that he has a hard time.
After sitting through this I tried to figure out what was the point of it all. Why would the Coen brothers want to tell this story? I came up with two scenarios.
First, as someone who is a bit of a jerk myself, I suppose it allowed me to reflect a little bit on how it can be sort of miserable being a jerk. Apart from that, there were a few cheap shots at the square characters in the film, which I guess is a bit of consolation for all the wallowing in your own misery that this film incites.
The second scenario, if you're a bit of a nice person, I suppose you might get some guilty pleasure out of seeing a jerk suffer.
We are given a possible explanation for why he behaves the way he does. It's a minor suggestion of a 3rd dimension to a character in a movie in which all the characters remain flat caricatures.
The backdrop is early 60's Greenwich village, but that seems largely irrelevant. I don't think any effort went into trying to give a sense of what life was like in that particular space in time. Apart from the retro set design, old cars, and prevalence of acoustic guitars, the story could just have well have taken place anywhere. The music is well recorded and the singing is pretty good. They were wise not to stick in any of the cliché folk songs that are often associated with this period in history. But the only song that actually stuck in my head as I made my way home from the theatre was the recording of the Dylan song they played. I suppose there's a few subtle hints that might make people try and connect characters in the film to real people, but there is little substance behind these hints.
It is well filmed, interesting camera angles, and nice cinematography, but that is not enough to make this worth watching.
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