This 2013 release of Oscar Isaac’s portrayal of a struggling folk singer garnered Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing,and Globe nominations for Best Original Song, Best Actor and Best Picture. I would suggest seeing Isaac’s “Inside Llewyn Davis” work before seeing the Guatemalan-American’s performance in “A Most Violent Year”. Here we see the precursor to narcissistic tendencies with heaps of self-possessed focus.
Written and directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen,”Inside” is melancholy,yet funny. It is sort of like watching the Human Potential Movement of the 70’s unfold before Rollo May’s “Love and Will” kicked in. This slice-of-life odyssey is more than just a tale of an impoverished artist,struggling and angry. There is lots to talk about thematically: the absence of commitment,the forgiveness of friends,meanness of spirit,the Welsh temper, the charm of felines,the lure and the power of music.
The setting seems more circa 1970 than the proclaimed 1961,but Indy just may have been that far behind the New York East Village scene! Inside L.D. is suffering. We learn he lost his singing partner to suicide,his father to dementia,his first child to Ohio,and his second to an impeding abortion. His promotors steal his meager wages and give him advice to stay out of the sun. Evidentally, he would look too foreign a skin shade darker.
The film’s music is really good,and Oscar Isaac looks like an old boyfriend of mine if anyone is interested.Carey Mulligan,Justin Timberlake and John Goodman are instrumental in bringing out that Coen brothers’ humor in this tender,yet exasperating study of trying to get a break in the music world while remaining human.