Kenny’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Coen Brothers should just direct every future film project of theirs in the 60's from now, because they work with that time period so well. Inside Llewyn Davis and A Serious Man are, in texture, feeling, and the sly cleverness that the Coens bring to their darkly comedic films, very similar, but couldn't be farther apart in terms of story. The tragic, desiccated humor works very in both films, but even though A Serious Man is seriously superior, Inside Llewyn Davis is right up there.
Llewyn does almost everything, with the exception of performing, in a desultory fashion and seems to have a dispassionate disposition and egocentric attitude towards his work and that pushes people away from him. The ones he loves and adores the most, the ones he used to love and adore the most, the ones that love and adore him the most, and the ones he wants to do business with. The Coens don't decide for you if Llewyn is a terrible human being or not. They present him in a purposeful way so that the viewer decides themselves. Is he a good-hearted man that has screwed-up more than a few times or is he someone that's only looking out for himself, just getting to the big league however he can.
At it's core, Inside Llewyn Davis is about and revolves around the titular character, his ambling adventures across the ice-covered roads and sidewalks of the Village and his attempt at going big with his folk music career. But it's also about gaining an artist's creative control of their work over the perfidious, avaricious nature of the record labels and music producers Llewyn comes into contact with.
The way Oscar Issac walks, talks, and delivers his lines is in harmonious synchronization with the way the film walks, talks, and operates and I think that's the most impressive aspect to his performance. Issac and the film can't be removed. Take out one and the other is useless. Well, not completely useless, but you get the idea. His odious relationship with Jean was reminiscent of the relationship between Mark Zuckerberg and Erica Albright featured in The Social Network, a film that I really love.
Inside Llewyn Davis not just succeeds in the story and character department, but also the technical department as well. The psuedo-bleaching out and certain white glow or tint effect that the cinematography has on the colors of the film is done efficiently and is superb. And who can forget about the soothing, heavy folk music? Even though Fare The Well is my favorite song out of the whole bunch, the musical choices and musical performances as a whole come together so nicely and are incredibly tight in terms of execution and presentation.
Another great effort from one of the great contemporary filmmaking duos on the block right now.