Isaac's folk-singing Llewyn Davis may be an arrogant loser and the butt of a cosmic joke but he's something more than a cartoon. So is the movie ...
The unreliable, brooding Llewyn is a prickly sort, making it a challenge for his industry - and movie audiences - to fully embrace him. And yet, the talent is undeniable.
This is one of the strangest yet most satisfying movie experiences of the year, one of those films in which you can't really appreciate what you've seen until it's over. You just have to trust that the trip is worth the trouble. And it is.
J. R. Jones
The broad, black humor of the Coens' early features has ripened over the years into a sadder, more philosophical brand of comedy (A Serious Man) that puts them in a class with Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch (yeah, you heard me).
The Coen brothers have crafted another unique period piece.
Celebrating and mourning a bygone moment, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a tuneful wake intended to arouse us from our slumber to desires worth remembering.
You don't end up rooting for Llewyn Davis because there's not much to root for. And this imparts a weird sort of impersonality or cold-bloodedness to the film's core.
In the end you feel Llewyn's pain even as you realize he is a pain. Llewyn Davis is nobody you'd want to be inside.
Inside Llewyn Davis plays like some beautiful, foreboding, darkly funny dream.