‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and the Oscars

By on February 6, 2014

The strange seriousness of humanity

With the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ awards presentation (a.k.a the Oscars) quickly approaching, theaters are rebooking top contending films for fans. One such movie is “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which despite having a star studded cast has only recovered its monetary cost to produce. Released to only a few theaters in early Dec. 2013, “Inside Llewyn Davis” opening weekend amounted to just over $400,000. So, why are the critics so hot – or not – on this film? Well, it’s not because of the acting.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” follows one week in the life of Davis (Oscar Isaac), a struggling, couch-surfing musician. It is 1961 and the folk scene is about to explode in Greenwich Village, but discontent is stewing inside Davis. As we learn of his life we are introduced to a myriad of characters, some prominent and some unnecessary, but all portrayed with reality. The couple Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan, “The Great Gatsby”) are Llewyn’s friends – kind of. The Gorfeins (Mitch, played by Ethan Phillips, and Lillian, played by Robin Bartlett) are scholars who let Davis crash in their spare room. John Goodman plays Roland Turner, a harsh and unhealthy man, who breezes through the story briefly and without culmination.

“I just didn’t get it,” said Gary W. of Harrisburg

Without revealing too much of the ending I can only empathize with Gary. However, the quirky ending is not a surprise considering “Inside Llewyn Davis” is directed by the Coen brothers (who are noted to be quirky themselves). Joel and Ethan Coen (who brought us such masterpieces as “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski,” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) use their signature style to create a disjointed tale of human existence shot beautifully and filled with dark humor. The singing and music in this movie are incredible; it is not overbearing in the least.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” and leading man Isaac were darlings of the film festival circuit, but the Academy has its eyes on other men. “Inside Llewyn Davis” is nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. If you can find it in a theater near you, go see “Inside Llewyn Davis.” It’s worth the experience.

Oscar-nominated films

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is not the only Oscar-nominated film getting a reboot from theater owners. Returning to local theaters are three movies worth seeing on the big screen before the red carpet rolls out on March 2.

“August: Osage County” stars regular Oscar-shoe-in Meryl Streep in the lead role. She is supported by a wonderful cast including fellow 2014 Oscar nominee Julia Roberts.

The most excitement (other than “American Hustle”) is being generated by “Dallas Buyers Club.” In this heart wrenching tale Matthew McConaughey transforms into Ron Woodroof, who struggles with AIDS. “Dallas Buyers Club” is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Actor for McConaughey.

Also nominated for six Oscars is “Nebraska.” Bruce Dern was last nominated for best actor in 1979 (“Coming Home”); in “Nebraska,” Dern plays Woody Grant who reunites with his son (played by Will Forte, who continues to push into serious films after his stint with Saturday Night Live) for a road trip to claim sweepstakes prize money.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie and 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at reelreviews@frontiernet.net.

About lititzrecord

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *