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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

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A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Reviews
Popularity
1,487 ( 426)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 47 wins & 170 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oscar Isaac ... Llewyn Davis
Carey Mulligan ... Jean
Justin Timberlake ... Jim
Ethan Phillips ... Mitch Gorfein
Robin Bartlett ... Lillian Gorfein
Max Casella ... Pappi Corsicato
Jerry Grayson ... Mel Novikoff
Jeanine Serralles ... Joy
Adam Driver ... Al Cody
Stark Sands ... Troy Nelson
John Goodman ... Roland Turner
Garrett Hedlund ... Johnny Five
Alex Karpovsky ... Marty Green
Helen Hong ... Janet Fung
Bradley Mott ... Joe Flom
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Storyline

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 Production

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 January 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Balada de un hombre común See more »

Filming Locations:

Medford, Minnesota, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$405,411, 8 December 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,235,319

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,935,319
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Bud Grossman (a fictional character based on Albert Grossman) suggests to Llewyn Davis that he may have an opening for him in a trio if he trims his beard into a goatee and stays out of the sun, he is referring to the real Albert Grossman putting together and managing the Peter, Paul and Mary trio. Grossman once told to Mary Travers to stay out of the sun because he envisioned her as the blond, pale, indoor type. See more »

Goofs

Not only does the cover of the "Timlin and Davis" album shown near the beginning of the film recall the cover of "Inside Dave Van Ronk"; we can see that the liner notes are about Van Ronk. See more »

Quotes

Roland Turner: Folk singer with a cat. You queer?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits is an image (in Hebrew and English) declaring the film "Kosher for Passover". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode dated 21 January 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No. 15 in D Major, Op. 28 - Pastorale
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Daniel Barenboim
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd
Under License from EMI Film & Telvision Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

There is a creative sadness in here, but it is heavily masked in sporadic plotting, hidden meaning and a dreary tone
8 March 2014 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Like almost everyone who loved or hated this film, I do generally like the Coen brothers and am not against having to do work to enjoy and appreciate a film. This is an important thing to say because Inside Llewyn Davis is certainly not a film to come to as a casual viewer just looking to kill a few hours – not as a snobby thing of "you'll not appreciate it" but just a reality that the film does almost nothing to help the viewer. The plot involves struggling folk musician Llewyn Davis in the Greenwich Village scene of the early 1960s; he is not particularly commercial, is irresponsible, downbeat and cannot look after others or even the cat belonging to others. We follow him over the course of a week which will change his life and see the world around him change too.

I really did want to like this film because at times there is a certain beauty to it in the pained reality of its lead character, his situation and his gradual realization of where his life is and where it is going. Unfortunately this is generally spread very thin and instead of having a structure that supports this, we instead get an episodic approach that makes the "week" feel like months, sees characters just come and go whether we have an interest in them or not and generally doesn't allow you to do more than grasp at metaphors which drift by – usually resulting in the people who love the film the most being those who brought a lot of their own selves to the table, leaving us who look to the film to at least help, feeling left out in the cold and even a little bored.

The music is beautiful when it comes and the cinematography is excellent as it captures and shapes the feel of the film and the character – it is bleak to look at for sure, but it is suitable and effective for what the film is. The same could be said of Isaac's performance because it is what the film needs him to do but the downside is that it isn't really what the viewer needs him to do. His personal journey (physical and emotional) is made harder b the coldness of his character – there is really not much to grab hold of here and he is generally difficult. As often is the case with the Coens, we have characters drifting though the story usually in a colorful fashion – the times it has worked in other films has been frequent but here I didn't think it did at all, with nobody seeming to add much. As writers of the material and directors of their cast the "blame" (depending on your view) belongs with the Coens as they have made this film very difficult to get into.

Full of supposed metaphors and with a sadness which is put in the distance look of its title character rather than in his heart or in the audience's line of sight, the film drifts along with a general sense of sadness and change which always interested me but just seemed deliberately out of reach and distant. I'm sure if you "get it" then it is a film to adore, but for me it just didn't work at all.


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