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Inside Llewyn Davis - Blu-ray Review

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Inside Llewyn Davis - Movie Review

 

5 stars

Inside Llewyn Davis – while being focused on the Greenwich Village scene of the early 1960s – is a timeless masterpiece of sound and vision and perfectly relevant in today’s absurd world.  Yes, I said that the period film is, in fact, timeless.  It is further proof that Joel and Ethan Coen are at the very top of their game.  I could go on and on with hyperbole after hyperbole but I won’t.  The overkill game of words makes it harder for you to believe me, just trust me when I suggest to you that the Coens are the greatest working filmmakers in the industry today.

Inside Llewyn Davis is a circular journey involving an imperfect man trying to maintain his integrity as a folk singer through the absurdity of modern life.  Davis (Oscar Isaac) is walking wounded.  He’s a struggling artist at odds with himself and the breaks he won’t allow himself to have in the wake of his songwriting partner’s suicide.

With one album under his belt, he cons and plays his friends in the scene – Jean and Jim (Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake) for food, shelter, all the while putting off the internal storm that is developing within him.  He has poor relations with women and can barely take care of himself, let alone the housecat he accidentally frees after a particularly strange conversation with Troy Nelson (Starl Sands).

Loosely based off Dave Van Ronk’s near rise to fame, Inside Llewyn Davis is unique in its perspective because the Coens – regardless of their successes – still carry with them the ability to tap into an authentic portrayal of someone striving to be a “Somebody” in the few months before the world discovered Bob Dylan.  The episodes in this portrayal may not be as slapstick as some of their previous efforts, but the melancholy is always balanced with moments of sly wit and humor.

Of course, the Coens’ unmistakable knack for creating unforgettable characters – a junkie hipster (John Goodman) and his Dean Moriarty-like tagalong (Garret Hedlund) in this film – that, like fearless warriors, wonder up and down strange highways at night is always present.  This is indeed a charm of theirs and, working together with a soundtrack produced by T-Bone Burnett, the results are fabulous.

Some of Davis’ friends – namely the Gorfeins (played by Ethan Phillips and Robin Bartlett) - want to support him and some – baritone Al Cody (Adam Driver) – could care less.  Regardless, Davis doesn’t make it easy and when a fairly sporadic road trip to audition for club owner Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham) goes south, we see a protagonist who can’t help but make the same mistakes time and time again.

Inside Llewyn Davis has a universal message.  It delivers more honesty than you’d ever guess based solely on the trailers and the music in the film.  Its lead character tackles his world as if he’s Sisyphus himself and stopped rolling a boulder up the hill long enough to pick up a guitar and watch that damn rock roll back down…only to do it all over again.

Inside Lllewyn Davis - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for language including some sexual references.
Runtime:
105 mins
Director
: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer
: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast:
Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
Genre
: Drama
Tagline:
Inside Llewyn Davis
Memorable Movie Quote: "George Washington Bridge? You throw yourself off the Brooklyn Bridge."
Distributor:
CBS Films
Official Site:
www.insidellewyndavis.com/splash
Release Date:
December 20, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.

Synopsis: Follow a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles -- some of them of his own making.

Inside Llewyn Davis - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 11, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); Digital copy
Region Encoding: A

Brought to you (rather silently) by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Inside Llewyn Davis finds its way onto blu-ray. The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture is photographed on film and exhibits a perfectly natural appearance. The color palette is well balanced, with no exaggeration. Hues are warm and rich, with an earthly feel. Fleshtones are naturally rendered throughout. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Everything appears realistic in the naturally dim and filtered New City and Chicago winter environments. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is minimalist in scope, even during the music performances. Atmospherics enliven the proceedings and provide aggressive surround immersion. Deep bass is supportive but brief.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Alas, there is little love shown for this film as supplemental material adds up to only one. Special features include the featurette, which provides a nice look into the production of the film, and an UltraViolet digital copy. This is a disappointing release indeed, especially for an Academy Award nominated film.

  • Inside 'Inside Llewyn Davis' (43 min)

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