Inside Llewyn Davis really just classic Coen themes. You’ve got your introspective character on some sort of journey, usually snarky in some sort of way/kind of an asshole, bizarre characers being met along the way, SYMBOLISM, music and so on. It’s all here, and it’s all so goddamn great.
After watching Treme for the last few years I absolutely how it didn’t give a fuck about the story and would just show people singing a song for, like four minutes or show, not-outwardly pushing any plot along, but creating an experiene and an atmosphere. I love shows/movies that don’t care about typical format and just do what they feel. Well, “Davis” is like that in so many ways, and chief among them its reliability on music and its presence in the film. We learn so much about these characters when they sing, branching out in to how they perform and what they sing, it’s as much character development as anything else. It’s not a “musical” film, but rather a film that happens to have musical moments and uses that device to further the characters.
Of course it’s 1000x better when you have this quality of acting skill to back everything up. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t heard of Oscar Isaac before this, but holy shit whoever casted him deserves a shiny gold ribbon because he’s utterly perfect. Not only can he actually sing wonderfully, but he’s that perfect mix of sad-sack and motivational that makes you always hope for the best with him. I was just constantly amazed at the depths he would go to and how terrifically he embodied the role, and it’s a shame he’s not really getting recognized in awards season, even with the stiff competition.
I really loved the film twofold as a character study and as a journey or adventure film, but if you really want to get down to it, they really fit into the same category. I still find it hard to believe that the Coen’s can keep topping themselves, but they seemingly do it every year or so, and this is no different. It’s a new approach they haven’t taken before, yet the themes and subject matter are still so familiar that it feels so very “Coen.”