Inside Llewyn Davis ★★★★★

I think this is one of the most honest portraits of depression I've ever seen.

There's the melancholic mise-en-scene. The fuzzy, somber blue cinematography, the cripplingly cold setting, the fatalistic folk music, the cramped frames that, say, squeeze Llewyn between two doors in an angular hallway.

There's the circular structure of the film. The feeling that Llewyn is stuck in a rut, and that no matter what he does he's doomed to live out the same events, meet the same people, have the same conversations. That slight glimmer of hope provided by finally stopping the cat is going to be beaten out of him in a back-alley later no matter what.

And then there's Llewyn himself. He's constantly in motion--jumping from couch to couch, riding the subway, driving to Chicago--but going nowhere, playing nothing gigs and not earning a dime. Every day he meets people who remind him of his ex-partner, dead of a suicide, and he's forced to confront his grief yet again. It's a cruel, maddening life.

"Why must I feel like that, why must I chase the cat?"

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