Thursday 30 January 2014

Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (second-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

Inside Llewyn Davis Poster

Inside Llewyn Davis (second-pass)
Cert: 15 / 105 mins / Dir. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
WoB Rating: 5/7

So after what probably seemed like a lukewarm review, I decided to watch Inside Llewyn Davis again before it gets relegated to afternoon showings next week. The good news is, it's just as mesmerising the second time around (perhaps more so, as the spiralling narrative of the film feels even more like a recurring dream). The rhythms of Llewyn's opportunity, ineptitude and regret are almost soporific, in the much same way that Davis himself finds it impossible to break the cycle of his behaviour. Oddly, the inevitability of his failures remains consistent however many times you watch the film. C'est la vie.

If there's a downside, it's that I didn't really gain that much from watching the film again; I'd hoped that I could lay the plot on the back seat and focus more on everything else, but it's either everything I caught last week, or so far beyond me that I'm never going to get it (the more likely option). It's not that the film is mysterious, more that it's magnificently subtle. That said, I had more fun with the secondary characters this time around, especially knowing in advance how they work in isolation of one another.

I was initially unsure about the opening and closing motifs, and having watched the film again am now even moreso. It's not something I'll go into here, but if you want to get symbolic, come and have a chinwag over at the Facebook page. I look forward to you bending my brain...

Inside Llewyn Davis is a fiendishly interesting film, although while there's plenty for me to like, I can't bring myself to outright love it. I probably don't need to see this again for some time now, and when I do return, it'll be largely for the soundtrack. It's a film I'd recommend, but for when you're in a contemplative mood.

And yes, that does sound massively self-indulgent. It's a Coen Bros film, after all ;)

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
As much as I was ever going to, yes.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Now, I think it probably does.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
It's a night in with a bottle of red.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
So. Coen Bros. Where's a good place to start?
Haven't been able to latch onto anything I loved. I didn't like True Grit, but I thought No Country… was okay (just not 'my thing'). A couple of other films of theirs I've tried and failed with, but am willing to have another go. So, where do I start?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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