Do you like folk music? If the answer is "no", then get ready for a surprise because you do like folk music. You just don't know it yet. At the very least you will discover you like it after you see the newest offering from the Coen Brothers, "Inside Llewyn Davis" which opens today, December 20 in select theaters around South Florida.
"Inside Llewyn Davis" is one of those movies by Joel and Ethan Coen that is difficult to sum up in a sentence or two. The story is set in 1961 and centers around two days in the life of folk music singer Llewyn Davis. He is a man who spends his nights sleeping on people's couches and his days usually lugging a guitar around in New York's Greenwich Village. He never really has a central goal he is trying to achieve.
Bear in mind that the Oscar winning filmmakers behind "Inside Llewn Davis" do not always make movies in the that are traditional. In this movie, they once again created something that is filled with memorable characters, in spite of the time they are on screen. The dialogue they have is really engaging. It is well shot and edited. While it is not booked as a musical, there are a number of songs performed fully throughout its running time, including a couple by Justin Timberlake. All of them are folk songs, so it is unlikely you saw the Grammy winning singer perform any of these this past summer on tour with Jay Z. There will be times, after a song in one of the club scenes is concluded, where you will almost want to clap along with the audience on screen. They are that well done.
The only issue that plagues "Inside Llewyn Davis" is that there are times when the movie gets downright boring. How boring? During an advanced screening in West Palm Beach earlier this week one person not only fell asleep, you could hear him snoring too. It's the way the movie was constructed. Llewyn is not after a specific goal in the movie. He experiences one little situation after another and basically goes where the wind takes him. You keep waiting for the movie to make clear what exactly it is about, but it never does. The Coen Brothers don't always follow the "rules" of movie making. Thank goodness for that; however, a result is that not every moment on screen is golden and without giving the audience something to root for, they sometimes get disengaged with what is happening on screen, as is the case here.
Joel and Ethan Coen never cease to amaze their audiences with the way they can so easily direct any kind of genre. Now they have taken on and conquered the musical, even if it was in a non-traditional manner. "Inside Llewyn Davis" may not be their best movie ever, but it is certainly worth seeing this holiday season. It will be opening in the following theaters, Coral Gables Art Cinema, AMC Sunset Place, Regal South Beach, Cinemark Palace, Cinemark Boynton, Paragon Jupiter, AMC Aventura and Cinemark Palace. It is rated R for language including some sexual references and smoking.