The cat is a metaphor. No matter how hard you try to run away, you will ultimately return to haunt yourself and your mistakes over and over again. Depressing, isn’t it? That’s the Coen brothers for you: shady, dark humour with a touch of real. Inside Llewyn Davis follows folk singer, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), as he drifts from couch to couch waiting for his big break. There are guest appearances from John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, and a tabby cat that is always lost and always hungry. Metaphor on metaphor.
It’s not a comedy.
I really could stop this review right there. Aside from a seriously melodramatic story about a guy who doesn’t understand heart-wrenching emotion outside of his own music,Inside Llewyn Davis is relatively… hollow. There’s a lot to analyze (Why folk music? Does each character have a demon? Does the cat only drink milk?) but it’s not the kind of film you crave to see again and again because of its high entertainment value. It’s a bit of a Debby Downer.
Oscar Isaac wears his role (and his beard) beautifully. You feel pity and frustration for Llewyn and the people this character fraternizes with. Is Llewyn cursed with bad luck or does he make his own luck? … Another discussion topic for film class. Something so simple as a wet sock in a damp shoe can make you want to coddle him and give him everything he needs. But on the other hand, you know he has to earn success on his own steam.
Rather than watching this movie I suggest you listen to it. It is the hipster soundtrack of the season. It may not cheer you up, but it will certainly calm you down. Inside Llewyn Davis is a hard one to critique because everyone will take it a little differently. For me, it’s a 6/10, but for you, who knows?
This review and many more can also be found at http://thecinemaid.net/2014/01/13/inside-llewyn-davis-2013/