Inside Llewyn Davis ★★★★

What once read as aimless and bitter the first time I saw it now swallows me in its mood of wandering despair. Another quasi-abstract existential Coen Bros. quandary, peppered with comedy but beset by bleak circumstances and a forlorn resignation. A movie that activates your heart and soul rather than your intellect. You're supposed to feel this movie, not figure it out, and I finally do. It's not really about Llewyn Davis, or the '60s Greenwich Village folk star incubator. Those are just the avatars and flavors it uses while illustrating that life can be an unfulfilling rut shaped by our inevitable, indefinite repetition of bad habits and sub-optimal lifestyle choices, but we press on ("boats against the current..."), needing to be acknowledged, searching and hoping for a next chance to do better.

My favorite things about this movie, besides the philosophical blizzard it resides within: those aching folk music performances (hearing "Fare Thee Well" several times never gets old), Adam Driver's baritone inserts during "Please Mr. Kennedy", Oscar Isaac's measured personality, Oscar Isaac carrying a cat around for half the runtime, and that grim wintry color grading,

*upgraded from 3 stars to 4

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