Inside Llewyn Davis

On paper I should love this so much more than I do, but it ends up feeling way too needlessly dour. It feels uncharitable to say that given how much I like the music and how well-crafted its icy, woozy tone is, but the characters never quite landed for me, and as much as my heart went out to Llewyn, I just didn't like him very much at all. I think we're almost supposed to see him as a kind of anti-Dylan, but all I wanted in the end was for somebody to give him a hug. Still very gorgeous and worth it for so many little things—the cat, "Hey Mr. Kennedy", and the nightmarish Chicago road trip/descent into the underworld sequence that bookends the film's central moment: a figurative meeting with Hades.

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