Monday, December 30, 2013
Love: Inside Llewyn Davis
The key to Inside Llewyn Davis may be a line repeated twice by its shiftless protagonist: "If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it's a folk song." In the line's first iteration, it reads as little more than stage banter, a slight joke repeated to illicit a chuckle from the Greenwich Village audience. In the second go, when it arrives in a moment of off-putting, cyclical repetition, we find that the meaning has changed, that it has acquired more poignancy in its direct ties not only to the music, but to the life of Llewyn Davis himself. The film is an ouroboros shaped over a span of mere days; a circular, destructive process where exact chronologies become confused and we become convinced of the inevitability of failure. Though the folksy music may offer brief moments of uplift for those so inclined, Inside Llewyn Davis is in keeping with the bleak outlook of the Coen Brothers' last several efforts. Grim and near hopeless to the last, bolstered and enlivened by the strength of Oscar Isaac's performance.