Friday, January 03, 2014

Friday's Forgotten Books, Friday, January 3, 2013





Todd Mason will be collecting these links today. Thanks, Todd.



This review will also appear on Crimespree Cinema today but I am also posting it here because it has overtaken BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR as my favorite film of 2013.

 INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Written and Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Oscar Issac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Adam Driver

The Coen Brothers, for my money, have the strongest writing and directorial credits in the history of U.S. movies. Yes, there have been a few misses: BURN AFTER READING, THE LADYKILLERS and one or two more. But films like TRUE GRIT, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, A SERIOUS MAN, FARGO, BLOOD SIMPLE and OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU far outnumber their few missteps. 

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS may be their finest achievement. And this, from a viewer who is not particularly fond of folk music. When friends told me, “go for the music,” I thought I was in trouble. But instead I found a film that avoided every cliché that lesser directors would have rested the story on.

The movie covers about a week in the life of a struggling folk singer, Llewyn Davis. He has lost his partner, cannot get a good gig, has impregnated a friend’s wife, has no place to live, is stuck with a cat he can’t return. Llewyn is having a bad week that only gets worse. His pilgrimage through the Village of 1961 and later still a road trip to Chicago is never glamorous, never unrealistic. His life is peopled with characters that are absurd but realistically drawn. He is not particularly likable but is never evil or irrational. It might be this is just a bad week for him. But when it concludes, we have come full circle and have little faith the following weeks will improve.
This is the best film of 2013 for me. I cannot recommend it highly enough. And if you like folk music, you are doubly blessed.

13 comments:

Todd Mason said...

You're quite welcome. I've been catching bits of the HBO concert promoting and alongside the film...

George said...

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS hasn't opened here yet. When it does, we're going to see it!

Anonymous said...

We watched the concert, produced at Town Hall by T Bone Burnett, and enjoyed it a lot. We'll definitely see this one in Florida.


Jeff M.

Charles Gramlich said...

Never heard of this one. I know we don't get all the movies here they do elsewhere.

John said...

Well, your review sold me. I'll be checking this one out next. Highly recommend Her, BTW. With luck it should show up in your part of the Midwest next Friday, Jan 10.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Flying to CA tomorrow! Looking forward to Her!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Flying to CA tomorrow! Looking forward to Her!

Anonymous said...

Have a great trip, Patti. I wish we were getting out of here sooner as it is freezing (below zero wind chill) and we have six inches of snow on the ground. We have almost three more weeks until we leave.


Jeff M.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks tons, Patti ~ can't wait to see this~~!!!!

p.s. I liked Burn After Reading, too, with multiple viewings. It is Washington and environs, after all.

Gerard said...

HER sounds really creepy and sad.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Oh, I've heard this was excellent. Now you're really tempting me to see it..

Sai S said...

How do I submit a link to Friday's Forgotten books?

I have a review ready for posting by the 17th, and want to make sure it shows up.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Just remind me a day or two ahead of time and I will look for your blog.