Paul Lister’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Folk singer with a cat. You queer?"
If anything 'Inside Llewyn Davis' is a reminder to me that films should always be given a second chance. Admittedly my first encounter with the latest Coen Brothers film was fraught with distractions that had a serious effect on my viewing experience. Also take into account the fact that the film's rather bleak tone that originally left me cold. But today I have thankfully rewatched the film and my opinion has completely changed. It is bleak but wonderfully so, it has a slightly oddball sense of humour at times and the music is lovely, even if it is not necessarily supposed to be brilliant. 'Please Mr Kennedy' is a lot of fun too, I love Adam Drivers contributions.
Llewyn is man drifting around waiting for something to happen, he is arrogant, selfish and frankly just an arsehole but he is really endearingly played by Oscar Isaac who grows on me more and more - which is thankful because he is in everything these days - his musical performances are good too, I like his voice. I mainly just love how shit out of luck his character is, seriously this guy cannot catch a break. It's cold and he doesn't have a place to stay, he has no winter jacket, he loses a cat, he rescues the cat but it's the wrong cat, a possible big break is potentially scuppered by passing trains, he gets stuck in the middle of nowhere after the car he is travelling in is robbed of it's driver (and the keys) by a passing policemen and to top it all off all his efforts are pissed on by the arrival of the one and only Bob Dylan. One of the key elements that informs his attitude and shitty luck is the revelation that his one time singing partner committed suicide by throwing himself off a bridge. I think it is a scar that cuts deep with Llewyn.
The film is a testament to the Coen Brothers talent, they can turn their hands to almost any type of story and make it work. They really evoke the period of the early sixties to wonderful effect here. What is also plain to see is that they do not miss their regular cinematographer Roger Deakins. Bruno Delbonnel picks up the reigns here and creates real magic that fits the cold and bleak nature of the story to perfection. I am really glad I watched the film again, it felt like watching it for the first time. The only thing that remains the same is the fact that Carey Mulligan is still a bit annoying in the film.