Ian Hobbs’s review published on Letterboxd:
”I'm tired. I thought I just needed a night's sleep but it's more than that.”
Sometimes when I watch a film that isn’t really about something, there’s no real plot to it, it’s just moving through a sliver of the character’s life I am on either ends of the spectrum. I either find it completely pretentious and uninteresting or I find it to be something wonderful. I think what the Coen’s did here with Inside Llewyn Davis is craft something so in between it all that it made me love watching it.
I find it hard to describe why this necessarily works and honestly maybe that’s the whole point. The film follows Oscar Isaac as folk singer Llewyn Davis and a week of his life living in the Greenwich Village scene in the 1960’s, but what’s interesting about the entire film is that it doesn’t try to have the folk scene be the story it’s telling, it’s just another place that Davis is moving through and living his life. The film isn’t about him becoming a star and making it big, it’s just about him making it through life, sleeping on a different couch a night; just trying to live. That’s what makes the film so special I think, it isn’t trying to say anything to much about anything. It’s just life.
I loved Oscar Issac’s performance as Davis here; he puts so much into him and crafts such a wonderful personality of the character. Probably one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen. It’s not so extravagant and out there, but the key lies in Issac’s subtlety and the care that he puts into everything. Carey Mulligan is also just really funny here, their interactions and the way that they get tied into each other’s lives I could watch for days. Also Adam Driver was just really a special cameo of sorts here.
I really don’t know what else to say about the film other than I really loved it. It just kind of hit me right on the spot. There’s not a lot to it, it may seem like it’s boring to others just to watch a man live life with nothing to it, but the way that everything moves and how it all comes together works wonders. This is definitely one of the Coen’s most brilliant works; in terms of both screenwriting and directing, but also in every other aspect. Inside Llyewn Davis is just something everyone needs to experience for themselves.