On Monday night (at the urging of my roomie Christopher) I saw a sneak preview of Inside Llewyn Davis which opens up nationwide on Friday. Inside Llewyn Davis, starring Oscar Isaac in the title role, is a fictional account of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village circa 1961.
If you are having a miserable day then I would advise against seeing Inside Llewyn Davis because you will leave the theater feeling much worse than when you came in. But what can one expect from the Coen Brothers who also brought you No Country for Old Men?
Could Inside Llewyn Davis do for folk music what Oh Brother, Where Art Thou did for Americana? Will Justin Timberlake be recording an album featuring folk songs by the likes of Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley, Gordon Lightfoot, Fred Neil, Mimi & Richard Farina and Phil Ochs? Well, as folk music mogul Bud Grossman (played by F. Murray Abraham) tells Llewyn Davis following an audition at his club, “I don’t see any money.” Call it No Folk for Young Men if you will.
O.K., there's one thing I need to get off my chest. Was there a constitutional amendment passed in secret requiring John Goodman to appear in every movie released in the last three years?
To neutralize any feelings of listlessness and despair one will experience watching this movie, I would suggest that theaters immediately follow Inside Llewyn Davis with a showing of A Mighty Wind. A similar principle applies when pairing The Passion of the Christ with Life of Brian.
Don’t get me wrong. The music is quite good and captures the essence of that era. Isaac has a beautiful voice to boot. But you’re probably better off buying the soundtrack (which was produced by T-Bone Burnett) instead of seeing the movie.