Director - Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Film Genre - Drama
Label - Roadshow
Audio - English (DTS-HD 5.1)
Subtitles - English
Running Time - 104
Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1
Region Coding - B (Blu-Ray)
TV Standard - PAL
Rating - MA15+
Year of Release - 2013
Author: James AcklandAt some point in our lives we've known a Llewyn Davis. In some cases we've BEEN Llewyn Davis.
Crashing on couches, sponging money from friends and family to the point it becomes and expected and unwanted. It's not easy to be inside Llewyn Davis and it shows.
Llewyns meandering life works like a river with short passages of hardship that lead to the wider spaces. But like all rivers what comes around he bend is harder to anticipate.
Caught in between the Cohen’s master works No country for old men, Oh brother where art thou and The Big Lebowski. This films feels more akin to Burn after reading.
A period film set in the time before Bob Dylan changed the American music scene, one can really get a sense that the times really were a changin’…
Oscar Isaacs plays the title character Davis. Isaacs is depressingly good as the folk singing who after loosing his song writing partner goes through the motions of being a solo artist. Suffice to say at this point in time in musical history his style has yet to take off. Isaacs brings a real frustration to the screen, and while the audience could be sympathetic to his plight the Cohens craft a way that sympathy is not the automatic response. You'll swing between feeling sorry for him and the satisfaction of his hardships. In short, Davis is quiet unlikable. But you want him to find his way. To find his place if he can.
Ignored by his management and constantly outstaying his welcome with friends Davis is only a bagful of belongings away from the next couch.
Llewyn's desperation to the New York slumming leads to a quick road trip to Chicago. Copping a ride with tough guy/poet Garrett Hedlund (Tron) and almost Jabba the Huttesqe John Goodman (Roseanne).
The road trip helps flesh out some of the workings going on emotionally inside Llewyn Davis and only adds to the odyssey like theme, common in Cohen features.
One of my favourite parts of any Cohen brothers picture are the small characters that populate the word and give it the quirkiness we have come to expect. From the secretary of Llewyn's record label to Llewyn's nephew who has all of one line, that being only one word. All these characters make the film a much more enjoyable place to be. Otherwise following Davis around would be a complete downer. There is also a cute kitty. Cats are cute!
While familiar faces appear in Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, who has some lovely snappy dialogue and a small cameo from F. Murray Abraham. The film really is Isaacs, every scene is about his head space, the choices he has to make and how he views his world.
The film looks stunning in Blu ray! There is a cigarette in almost every scene and in 1080p i almost could smell the bars and cars of early 1960s New York. The colour pallet is chosen and fits the period fantastically… hey, it’s the Cohen Brothers… duh! It’s in 1.85:1 ratio.
Audio: Again, lovely! Music is beautiful. Actors playing instruments themselves leaves nothing to the imagination of session players trying to play along. It’s an analogue soundtrack recorded and presented digitally! Sounds awesome! Surround yourself in DTS-HD 5.1.
Only one bonus feature on this blu-ray is the looking inside: Inside Llewyn Davis. It's a from pre to post production featurette that chronicles the filming and musical work that went into the production.