Inside Llewyn Davis

Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 3.0

Unofficial successor to the Coens' O Brother, Where Art Thou? is set in 60's New York City and centers around the self-absorbed vagabond folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he leeches off 'friends' to sleep on their couches, has to keep paying for abortions for girls he knocked up (including Carey Mulligan) and can't seem to hit it big enough to make much of a living for himself. The Coens are a bit too hung up on the Odyssey connection that they made with the O Brother film (though at least they are consistent) and the movie derails itself once Davis hitches a ride to Chicago with Garrett Hedlund and John Goodman to play up the whole surrealist wandering minstrel aspect. Still, it can be read as a riposte to Baumbach's Frances Ha which expects the audience to find its lead 'artist' cute and ditzy, ignoring her cosmic levels of self-absorbed privilege - the Coens do not afford Davis the same level of respect, and regard his artistic noodling and hubris with a decent dose of contempt. It's about humility, kid ... now get on that Merchant Marine vessel (and keep working on your craft).