Written December 31, 2013
They do it again! The characters - and the actors known and unknown who play them - are fabulous. From the cat to Llewyn's academic friends to his agent's secretary to the union hall chief, they're all fully-realized, authentic, achingly-funny people. The Coen brothers' nation IS a country for old men - John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham, and the others playing the old and grizzled do a terrific job of conveying wisdom, absurdity, and pompous pathos. The Coens - or their set designers -have a deadly accurate eye for period details, as they had previously demonstrated in Serious Man. We roared at the decor in the Grofeins' apartment (two menorahs and African sculpture), the hair-dos, glasses, clothes, cars, the food... it's all spot on. We also loved the "inside" joke for folks who know the history of the American left. When Llewyn tells the union guy that he (Llewyn) is a communist - the union guy mutters "Schachtmanite?" - go google Max Schachtman for the whole story!
Written December 09, 2013
I am baffled how this movie got such great reviews. The best I can say was that it was absorbing. However, the plot is very thin, and the movie was very slow. I would only recommend seeing it to people who want to see if they can figure out what all the hype was about.
Written March 02, 2014
Maybe that was the point, that the main character was going nowhere, but he was so pathetic and the movie was such a downer that it offset the fine writing and otherwise interesting characters. But kudos to Justin Timberlake, who adds further evidence that he just may be the most talented all-around performer of his generation.
Written December 14, 2013
This high definition dark despairing movie is for all creative beings who dreamed of creating a new voice of meaning and substance from polishing the old forms of old 2 3 4 part harmonies in old familiar folk songs -or any old form, and the pain and power of finding your voice from the the despair one feels from conflict and fear of 1) not-reliving my fathers mistakes 2) losing our humanity-when you must go on, when you lost your child, lost your cat, lost your girlfriend - ALL out of inflated sense of self absorbed calouse disregard of others struggling all alone to find meaning... and it leaves you lost, beat up in the ally, rejected by the promoter who does see money in it, made you wanna hang it up and ship out to sea....and as you express all that with feeling in a song now alone.... someone else comes along Bob Dylan and captures the moment - holding higher than you the torch of enlightenment to a new generation....This movie's somber stark haunting realism celebrates.
Written February 23, 2014
Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961, Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving winter, which is truly metaphorical of the artist's life, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles—many of them of his own making, some by his lack of humanity on his own part, some due to his almost autistic way of traveling thru life.
It is a Coen Brothers tale told well, if not depressing in nature, but then one does not go to a Coen brothers film to be uplifted.