Inside Llewyn Davis Is So Realistic That It’s Boring

llewyn davis hey its me


Despite what the real film critics are saying, Inside Llewyn Davis isn’t a good movie. Sure it’s beautifully shot and sure Oscar Issac does an amazing job as Llewyn Davis. But this movie proves that cinematography and acting isn’t always enough to make a good movie. For those of you who don’t know the plot, or mistakenly think it’s about Justin Timberlake testing out new facial hair, let me fill you in. And yes filling you in will include some spoilers. But such is life.

Llewyn Davis is a folk singer living in New York City in the early ’60s. Despite being talented, his career isn’t really taking off. To make matters worse, he gets his friend’s wife pregnant. Even though Jean (Carey Mulligan) is unsure if the baby is his or her husband Jim’s (Justin Timberlake), she insists Llewyn find the money for the abortion. As you can imagine, failed folk singers aren’t exactly flush with cash. In fact Llewyn can’t even afford an apartment, he goes from couch to couch until people get tired of him.

The entire movie takes places over the course of a few days. In which nothing happens. You just see him trudge around New York City and try to make his career happen — knowing the whole time that it won’t.  It’s probably a  a very accurate depiction of what it’s like for a folk singer living in New York City in the 1960s. The problem is that with the exception of true crime stories, accurate isn’t usually fun to watch on a screen for two hours. If I wanted to see someone’s depressing life unfold, I’d get on Facebook.

I spent the entire movie waiting for something — really anything — to happen. But it doesn’t. There is no resolution. You assume that he’s just going to keep trudging along, sleeping on couches and performing in basements. Which again, is realistic. Real life isn’t always exciting, in fact, for most of us, it’s actually pretty boring. But that’s not why we fork over $10 to the theaters. We want drama, we want action, we want a musical montage that shows a character changing over a long period of time. At least I do. I know people are going to say that I’m missing the point, that I’m too ignorant to see the artistry. But I know what I like and it’s definitely not this.

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    • elle

      Yeah I really do not want to see this because A) Justin Timberlake is in it and I hate Justin and he is not a good actor and B) honestly it just looks so depressing. Like I don’t want to watch a guy couch hop and have to carry his cat around……I just can not handle watching something that depressing.

      • Jenni

        The only good thing I can say is that Justin’s perfectly cast. And I’m saying that as someone who survived Runner, Runner. He’s barely in the movie at all, and his biggest scene involves him singing and not trying to act.

      • abbeysbooks

        His work in Social Network in that scene where he is so in drag and turns and snaps his fingers and says to drop the “the” just Facebook is wonderful. He can be very very good. Runner Runner was not given a good review by Darren at them9vieblog in Dublin so I passed on it. Darren is my first go to reviewer for any decision to see or not to see. I’ll wait to see what Darren says.

        I understand your not wanting to see depressing. Best to keep in denial about the world as it is far more than depressing. Terrifying is the adjective I would use.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      I’ve never really gotten into the Coen Brothers. I remember when everyone was freaking out over how good No Country For Old Men was, and I was just like, “Meh, it’s fine.”

      • elle

        Yeah I also thought No Country was pretty overrated. And I love the book! And Javier Bardem and Garret Dillahunt and Kelly MacDonald and I still couldn’t really get into it.

      • Jenni

        I never saw it, it didn’t look like the movie for me.

      • abbeysbooks

        It was gorgeous. Beautiful script, beautiful acting, beautiful directing, beautiful editing, really a wonder. McCarthy is not cheerful about the state of the world so best you passed on it.

      • abbeysbooks

        Says more about you than the film No Country For Old Men. The viewer has to bring a highly developed political and social consciousness to McCarthy’s work. Leaves you out I guess.

    • holla

      you’ve completely missed the point of the movie, if you think there is no resolution

    • Renato

      Men, I do feel like you. Besides the techical level (perfect) and social commentary (which probably is there, knowing the Cohen), this is the most fucking boring movie I’ve seen in years. I just misses what makes the difference between a compelling and a boring experience. Even Burton Fink, for the most part, was about the nothing of an author’s life, but even not counting the weird finale, it was interesting to watch.