No filmmakers have been as consistently brilliant as Joel and Ethan Coen. Over the course of 16 films, they’ve only made two real clunkers (though ‘Intolerable Cruelty’ and ‘The Ladykillers’ have their defenders) and have set a cinematic standard that few in their peer group can match, even if they had the necessary talent to try. So every glimpse we can get of the brothers’ branded entertainment eccentricity is welcome, and given the reception it earned at Cannes this past May, no movie of theirs is more heavily anticipated than ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’ The initial trailer offered a tantalizing glimpse of this partially fictional account of the Greenwich Village folk scene circa 1961. This latest preview expands of the story a bit while providing more patented Coen Brothers character quirk. Enjoy:
As usual, the guys nail the period details cold! You’d never guess this was a film made in 2012. The clothes, the backdrop, and dialogue…even the music industry elements are all spot on. Then there are the typical Pixies-esque performances? Don’t understand such a musical reference? Well, the seminal alternative act from the ’80s and ’90s were known for specializing in a “quietLOUDquite” brand of sonics that influenced dozens of wannabe musicians (including someone named Kurt Cobain). Here, the Coens employ a similar aesthetic, offering a passive hero (Oscar Issac is flawless as Llewyn) surrounded by broader, more arch characterizations (John Goodman’s boisterous songwriter, Carey Mulligan’s sour seriousness).There’s almost always a calm at the center surrounded by chaos.
From what we can piece together from this latest look, Llewyn is trying to overcome the suicide of his partner, his failing solo career, an affair (and possible pregnancy) with the wife of a friend (Justin Timberlake), and the care and comfort of a neighbor’s cat. Typical Coen concept, and by the look of it, execution as well. Again, when you consider their output (and the Grand Prix award it won earlier this year at the aforementioned festival), this should end up one of 2013’s very best. December can’t come soon enough as far as we’re concerned.