A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
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
I was excited to have the opportunity to attend one of the first stateside public screenings (Austin Film Festival) of Joel and Ethan Coen's Grand Prix winning Inside Llewen Davis. Having begun my own professional music career as a 14-year-old, peach-fuzz-cheeked wanna-be folksinger at Café Espresso in Portland, OR, under the mentor-ship of Marc Ellington who bore more than a passing resemblance to Dave Van Ronk in size, talent, and facial hair I had a strong personal interest in revisiting the era through the skewered lens of the Bros Coen.
This is the same Greenwich Village described by Bob Dylan in his memoir Chronicles brutally cold and damp, unforgiving in the way only an urban jungle can be. Llewen Davis, as portrayed by Oscar Isaac, reveals a timeless cliché: the egocentric "artist," careening insolently from one self-induced disaster to the next while flaunting a sense of entitlement that is completely undeserved. The guy is, in a word, an asshole a fact that bitter, accidentally knocked-up Jean (Carey Mulligan) never lets him forget. As a music guy, I respect that all the music performances were shot and recorded live, not enhanced with post-production tricks. Most music films are so far off base they make my skin crawl. There are some cool songs most of which are rendered top to bottom as well as a couple-a funny send-ups. However, I heard nothing extraordinary, composition- or talent-wise. I'd recommend that Isaac not give up his day job. He's a fine actor but an average singer-songwriter.
The performance that justifies the price of a ticket is delivered by John Goodman. With this cane-wielding, junkie jazz musician, the Coens have once again invented a character for Goodman that dominates the screen with unpredictable, genuinely frightening, sickly hilarious power. In this extraordinary turn, Goodman rivals, perhaps even surpasses, his appearances in Raising Arizona and Big Lebowski.
Inside Llewen Davis lacks the charm or brilliant cartoon quality of Oh, Brother, Fargo, or Intolerable Cruelty. It's an expertly made small film with no heroes and some listenable music. If you're hankerin' for a dark, chilly, cheerless tale in which nearly everyone's a self-serving dick, this is just the movie for you.
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