Inside Llewyn Davis ★★★★½

Y'ever watch a movie at what feels like the perfect time? In life, I mean, not to diminish the value of the 18.40 showing, which offers the nice effect of fading day on the way in and blackest night on the way out. There's something transcendental about such striking changes in the texture of the day itself that pairs so well with a movie that feels as though it's transformed you somehow. I get that feeling with the Coens' latest, which might easily be called Inside Barton Gopnik; it's a marvellous synchronisation of the cosmic injustice of A Serious Man and the portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-not-so-young-man of Barton Fink. No wonder I loved it. A friend with whom I did so didn't, and it's interesting how much his complaints served only to enhance my own adoration. I love this movie for its darkness, its nihilism, its terrible sense that maybe life doesn't have anything in store for us, its open admission that at least a little of that fact might be because we don't deserve it. I say this, I think, too often, but a film that trades in the more depressing reality of life is not a depressing film. We're all just existing. It can be nice to remember that everyone else is too.

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