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Review: Inside Llewyn Davis

After an unusually long gap for the insanely prolific Coen Brothers (three whole years!), they make damn-sure they remind us why we wait with such anxiety and anticipation for each release bearing their sibling stamp. With fantastic attention to detail, a well-realized sense of place that is all too familiar yet curiously distant, and a surprisingly laid-back yet aching, distraught screenplay backing them, Inside Llewyn Davis is their best release since No Country for Old Men and dangerously close to one of their top five films ever. It works as a meandering tribute to the underbelly of the greasy, cut-throat New York folk scene, an homage to the freewheeling works of James Joyce and their ability to uphold the common man as a mythic wanderer, and a picaresque exploration of the the day-to-day doldrums of human existence that combines unaffected social realism and moments of more obviously filmic, signature Coen Brothers flights of subtle fantasy. It’s an altogether plaintive film, but a deeply felt one with cheer tempered by aimless loss that chills to the bone. Continue reading