Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Done In 60 Seconds Competition 2015
Guide To Marvel's Infinity War
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Mike Nichols Dies
The Graduate director was 83
The Pitch Perfect 2 Trailer Arrives Online
You're going to miss them when they're gone
Djimon Hounsou In Talks For King Arthur
He could replace Idris Elba
Summit Wants Tom Cruise For Highlander
He could be the new Ramirez
Paul Greengrass Attached To Direct 1984
He may make a new George Orwell adaptation
Sony Is No Longer In The Steve Jobs Business
The Danny Boyle film is currently homeless
Keanu Reeves Considers The Panopticon
Circling Tarsem Singh's latest
Alexandra Daddario And More up For Marvel's Jessica Jones
Plus Luke Cage has a couple of contenders
Luther Will Return
Idris Elba is back for two BBC episodes
Pirates Writer Heads For Yucatan
Robert Downey Jr.'s 'lost' Steve McQueen film
Dustin Hoffman May Be Going In Style
With Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman
New US Trailer For The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death
She never forgives and she never left
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
16 November 2014
Christopher Lambert Says Hail Caesar!
He's set for the Coen brothers' latest
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
18 December 2015
A Most Violent Year
23 January 2015
Ex_Machina
23 January 2015
Unbroken
26 December 2014
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
In Secret (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Two Faces Of January (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Inside Llewyn Davis (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Inside Llewyn Davis (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2013: Inside Llewyn Davis Initial Reaction
Cannes 2013: Inside Llewyn Davis Initial Reaction
The Coens' latest wins over the Croisette

19 May 2013  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit

inside llewyn davis
Inside Llewyn Davis arrived in Cannes as perhaps the strongest buzz title of them all, as the Coen brothers' first visit here since the Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men in 2007. Within hours, it has established itself as the critical favourite, which is not always the surest sign of a Palme d'Or win, but it is safe to say that this is one of the more accessible of the directing duo's more esoteric movies. That's not to call it wildly commercial, however, and it seems like a smart ploy on producer Scott Rudin's part to start here in Cannes and plan a long-term roll-out; this is not a quick, immediate sell and could benefit from some of the lessons learned after the box-office failure last year of Paul Thomas Anderson's equally acclaimed The Master.
 
The involvement of musical advisor T-Bone Burnett might suggest a comedy in the vein of O Brother Where Art Thou, and the curiously flat trailer certainly gives the impression that the distributors don't quite know what they've got here, but this is very much one of the Coens' more intimate movies, not quite as overtly surreal as Barton Fink but in the same vein.
 
Oscar Isaac stars in the title role, playing a folk singer who we know from the very beginning is a drunk, a flake and a sleeparound guy, having impregnated the wife of one of his best friends (played by a foul-mouthed Carey Mulligan). Llewyn is something of a demon with the voice of an angel, and the acoustic performance scenes in the film – set at the long-defunct Gaslight Club in Greenwich Village, New York – are, ironically, electric.
 
The fact that the film is frequently laugh-out-loud funny will send out signals that this is a comedy, but Inside Llewyn Davis is only a comedy on the Coens' terms, and non-fans may be flummoxed by its episodic structure, which sees famous faces come and go, never to return, never mind its aftertaste of melancholy. As with O Brother, it is a richly layered piece that seems to be satirical and yet is actually quite mordantly faithful to the era.
 
Coens regulars, however, will recognise plenty here: the bad hair, the theme of God's forgotten man, and an awful lot of incredibly deadpan dialogue. Without such wonderful music, it would be a very different story, but it seems the Coens have crafted a slow-burn awards-season shoo-in that comes with an unexpected spiritual edge. 

Inside Llewyn Davis is out in the US on December 20, but British Coen brothers aficionados will have to wait until January 24 to get their fix.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Cannes 2013: Weinstein Company Showcase
From James Corden singing to Kristen Scott Thomas screaming
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Josh Hutcherson On The Hunger Games Phenomenon
'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

What Is A Squidward? A Beginner's Guide To SpongeBob SquarePants
If you aren’t already a massive fan, prepare to become one

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Robert De Niro
The heavyweight champion of character immersion, explosive rage and jawdropping subtleties

Empire Meets Thelma Schoonmaker
On editing Scorsese, GoodFellas and a life in film

5 Possible Captain America: Civil War Roles For Daniel Brühl
Failing a Red Skull return, here are some Marvel villains the actor could play...

Kit Harington On How To Train Your Dragon 2
As the sequel hits home entertainment, we talk to the Game Of Thrones star

Who's Who In Duncan Jones' Warcraft
The characters, the conflict and (possibly) the whole damned plot

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)