Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Leonard Nimoy Dies
Beloved Star Trek actor was 83
Exclusive: Charlie Cox Talks Marvel’s Daredevil
Plus a new poster for the Netflix superhero show
Avengers: Age Of Ultron Character Posters Fly In
Update: Nick Fury's online, and he's brought Black Widow and Thor
Exclusive New While We're Young Poster
And a new trailer for Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts' midlife-com
First Look At Eddie Redmayne As The Danish Girl
First look at Tom Hooper's new period drama
Harrison Ford Confirmed For Blade Runner 2
Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct
Jack Huston Eyed As The New Crow
He could flap in to replace Luke Evans
First Trailer For The Lady In The Van
Alan Bennett has a visitor
Sam Mendes Talks Spectre
Skyfall's director on why he returned to the Bond franchise
Red Sonja Prepares For Action Again
Christopher Cosmos hired to write new screenplay
Rosamund Pike Joins The Deep Blue Good-By
Starring with Christian Bale
Blake Lively And Jason Clarke Say All I See Is You
Marc Forster's new psychological drama
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
18 February 2015
New Trailer For Far From The Madding Crowd
Choices, choices, choices for Carey Mulligan
Kodi Smit-McPhee Is X-Men: Apocalypse's Nightcrawler
Another younger version of a mutant has been cast...
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
18 December 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
A Most Violent Year (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Ex Machina
Empire Star Rating
Unbroken (2014)
Empire Star Rating
In Secret (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Two Faces Of January (2014)
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


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

The Oscars: Who Won What?
The winners, the losers, the dresses, the suits...

The Empire Podcast Oscars 2015 Special
The team's take on the 87th Academy Awards

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Robert Downey Jr. On Age Of Ultron
Tomorrow: Mark Ruffalo talks Bruce Banner...

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 maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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)