This most recent project by the Coen brothers explores the nature of attempting to succeed as a folk artist in 1960s America. It wades into the perplexed life of Llewyn Davis, portrayed beautifully by Oscar Isaac, and narrates the frustrating and often trapped lifestyle of being an aspiring music artist. The movie is set over the duration of one week of Llewyn Davis’ life of which he is faced with a string of unfortunate events and insurmountable obstacles.
Inside Llewyn Davis is nominated in one Oscar category this year for its Cinematography. While the movie itself tells the story of a man living in a colourless, bitter world, the cinematography itself is undoubtedly a masterpiece. The Coen brothers’ work on making this deeply dull life of Llewyn come to life has received a wonderful amount of appraisal and has been arguably their best piece to date. The beginning of the movie alone is enough to instantly grip the audience, and as the story unravels it becomes clear that this is not your regular ‘rags to riches’ narrative convention. In fact, it is emphatically the opposite.
The movie was beautifully written and cast, topped off with admirable directing and cinematography. This movie was certainly snubbed at the Oscars this year – it deserves more nominations! While this may be tied down to not having as much publicity and recognition as, say, The Wolf Of Wall Street, people who go to see the movie will simultaneously like and dislike it and will leave the cinema feeling confused by the ending yet astounded by the acting and directing.
For all of the reasons above, Inside Llewyn Davis deserves to win in the category it is nominated for. In its category, it is up against Gravity, The Grandmaster, Nebraska and Prisoners and the only one that is particularly threatening to its win is Gravity. While Gravity’s cinematography was compelling and masterful, Inside Llewyn Davis should (without a doubt) win over its nominees.