Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Inside Llewyn Davis opens in Seattle on Friday, 12/20 and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle and The Harvard Exit}

Greenwich Village. 1961. Folk Music. These are things which I know little about, and also things in which I am only mildly interested. What I am interested in is the Coen Brothers and their ability to tell so many different kinds of stories so goddamn well.

Joel & Ethan made their own special brand of magic happen again with Inside Llewyn Davis (that’s Lew-N, in case you’re wondering); the story of a folk musician who’s trying REAL hard to make it on his own.

In the course of a week, Llewyn (Oscar Davis—man, this guy is good) has to deal with losing a generous friend’s cat, an unexpected pregnancy with near-constant verbal assault from the expectant mother, an unsympathetic agent, a lecherous club owner, a heroin-addicted jazz player, and a best friend whose success is imminent, because he’s clearly “selling out.”

All of this while recovering from his former musical partner’s suicide, trying to earn enough scratch to eat, wondering where he’s going to sleep at night—and battling his own enormous ego.

It’s a lot of emotional turmoil for a movie where not a lot actually happens, which is where the Coen magic kicks in: a twitching cat’s tail down a long hallway, the camera focused on Issac’s soulful eyes, miles of freezing landscape, cramped coffeehouse clubs, and just enough Coen humor (my favorite moment being Adam Driver’s contribution to “Please, Mr. Kennedy” –speaking of, just try getting that out of your head once you’ve heard it—you can’t! There’s no way) to bring it all together.

The more I think about this film, the more I like it, which means it warrants at least a couple more viewings.

What I’d really like to do is talk to a working musician about this film, because I feel like that would reveal a lot more layers that I’ve probably missed. Who’s in? I’ll buy you coffee …

And, just because I want it in everybody else’s head too: