Inside Llewyn Davis

davis

The first trailer for Joel and Ethan Coen’s upcoming film about a folk singer, Inside Llewyn Davis, and the red band trailer that followed, were both good at establishing a mood, giving us a sense of the time and place in which the film is taking place, and selling us on the cast that the brothers have put together. What they didn’t much do was let us in on exactly what this Llewyn Davis was looking all melancholy about, however. As a matter of fact, they seemed to make a point about fading out right before we got to the heart of the matter. Well, now there’s a third trailer for the film, and in addition to giving us a few more laughs and featuring yet another striking song from the era, it also does more to dig into the particular problems that this Davis chap is struggling with in his day to day life. Problems that seem to be myriad.

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Three-hour lesbian drama Blue is the Warmest Color was announced the winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a choice that many foresaw as likely but not a sure thing. The jury that awarded the honor was led by Steven Spielberg and also included Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz and Lynne Ramsay. For the second place Grand Prix winner, they picked the latest from the Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis, while for Jury Prize (considered the third biggest deal) they chose Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s Like Father, Like Son. Like Father, Like Son was also recipient of an honorable mention from the Christian-based Ecumenical Jury, whose top prize went to The Past — the star of which, Bérénice Bejo, was named Best Actress by the main Cannes jury. Blue is the Warmest Color also earned multiple honors from the fest, taking the critic choice FIPRESCI Award for the In Competition category. The biggest surprise of today’s announcement seems to be Spielberg and Co.’s naming of Bruce Dern as Best Actor for the new film from Alexander Payne, Nebraska. After the jump, you can find a full list of main jury winners (from the festival website) and other honorees announced over the weekend accompanied by links to our review of the film where available.

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llewyndavis

The Coen brothers make the sorts of movies that are dense enough and interesting enough that there’s not going to be much you can say about them before you actually sit down and watch them. Are they going to be worth checking out? Of course. Are they going to be full of great performances? Undoubtedly. Is there any way to predict what they’re actually going to be about or what you’re going to end up getting out of watching them? Not a chance. So, more than being a traditional piece of marketing material, this new red band trailer for their next film, Inside Llewyn Davis, is just a little appetizer for you to take in and enjoy—something to lift your spirits after a long day.

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Cannes 2013

This year, The Cannes International Film Festival opens on May 15th with a bombastically modern retelling of the Roaring Twenties and closes on May 26th with a South African-set crime thriller on the heels of apartheid. Everything in between looks amazing. The lineup boasts new Winding Refn, Chandor, Sofia Coppola, Miike, Denis, Coen Brothers and what looks like a nice symmetrical career send off for Steven Soderbergh, who’s bringing Behind the Candelabra there 24 years after winning the festival’s top prize with sex, lies and videotape. That means Soderbergh has an opportunity to join the elite group of multiple Palme d’Or winners, and the Coens and Roman Polanski have that potential as well. All others in competition have never won before. Plus, the non-competition films look equally fantastic. Read the full field, wipe that drool away and check to see what kind of deals you can get on plane tickets to France for May.

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inside-llewyn-davis

There isn’t much that needs to be said to sell the trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis. It’s the trailer for the new Coen Brothers movie, so its release basically makes for a holiday on the film geek calendar. More than that though, this is a Coen Brothers movie set in New York in the 1960’s, which is a time and place that people have recently been fascinated by due to the popularity of the TV show Mad Men. Inside Llewyn Davis takes the focus off of the ad men on Madison Avenue and puts it squarely on the folk scene in Greenwich Village (as the Bob Dylan song playing over the soundtrack might give away) though, so it’s like we’re now getting to see the other side of that same coin. Inside Llewyn Davis is still more than just an interesting setting, of course. Probably most importantly it’s a movie that sees the Coen Brothers once again working with John Goodman, which is a pairing that has never failed to produce anything less than gold. And in addition to Goodman we’ve got Oscar Isaac looking magnetic as the lead, Carey Mulligan doing that Carey Mulligan thing that everybody loves—and they’ve even found a spot for Last Action Hero’s F. Murray Abraham!

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Here’s yet another upside to the Akira shutdown (beyond the immediate benefit of the project hopefully just not getting made in its current, bizarrely tone-deaf state) – its star Garrett Hedlund is negotiating for a role in a film that actually sounds somewhat suitable for him. Imagine that! Variety reports that, with Hedlund’s schedule currently much more open post-Akira-shutdown-gate, he’s negotiating for a role in the Coen Brothers‘ next film, Inside Llewyn Davis. The film is already set to star Oscar Isaac in the titular role, and follows the character of Davis, a 60s folk singer based on Dave Van Ronk. While Hedlund’s role is not yet specified, the film is set during the 1960s in New York’s Greenwich Village and will likely be populated with a number of characters that, like Isaac’s, will be based on famous performers. While Hedlund might have underwhelmed in Tron: Legacy, his singing work in Country Strong was lovely and more than capable, and he exhibited a true country twang that should cross over nicely to a folk singer role.

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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A week ago, when I reported on Joel and Ethan Coen’s new movie Inside Llewyn Davis picking up Oscar Isaac as its leading man, I opined that further casting news would probably be coming soon. The Coens’ new film is about a folk singer coming up in the Greenwich Village scene, and it’s loosely based off the life of Dave Van Rank, so it’s going to be necessary for the brotherly team to cast actors as stand-in characters for all of Van Rank’s musician friends. Well, a week later the brothers have signed up their first, and this one is a doozy. According to Variety, Carey Mulligan has signed on to play the female lead opposite Isaac. Despite my conclusion-jumping that most of the characters in this film will be musicians of some sort, there isn’t actually any confirmation that the character Mulligan will be playing will be musically inclined at all. Variety is correct to point out that the actress has the chops to pull some musical numbers off if she has to, however. She plays a singer in director Steve McQueen’s upcoming sex addiction drama Shame and really knocks her singing scene out of the park in that film. It’s maybe the most crucial scene of the film, and Mulligan rises to the occasion admirably.

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Being chosen as the star of a new Coen brothers movie is kind of an honor. When you become a Coen headliner you join the ranks of huge names like Nic Cage, Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, and Tom Hanks. Just look what it did for the careers of guys like William H. Macy after he starred in Fargo or Josh Brolin after he starred in No Country for Old Men. One good performance in the lead of a Coen brothers movie can be your ticket to the top. So it had to be very exciting news for Oscar Isaac when he found out that he scored the lead role in the brothers’ next movie Inside Llewyn Davis. Or not — maybe he’s a cold, cold man. Isaac isn’t an incredibly well known actor as of yet, but he’s had a good amount of work. Most recently he’s appeared in things like Sucker Punch and Drive, and soon he will be showing up in a high profile role in The Bourne Legacy. So far I don’t know what to think about him from the little I’ve seen. I thought he did a fine job in Drive, but he seemed to me to be far too hammy in Sucker Punch. Just the act of being cast as a Coen lead gives me faith that this guy has the chops to become something big though. I have total faith in those two weirdos, and acting under their assured directing hands should bring out […]

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The last film we got from legendary directorial team Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010’s remake of True Grit, was one of their most successful yet. This time it wasn’t just film nerds heading out to the theater to see what the brothers had up their sleeves, they managed to pull in a large chunk of the mainstream audience as well. So it is with bated breath that we have been awaiting an announcement regarding their follow up. Wait no longer, because today Variety hit us with not only a title of their new film, but also some confirmation on what it’s going to be all about. There have been rumors that the Coens were looking to make a movie that dealt with folk music for a while now, and this next project appears to be it. The film is titled Inside Llewyn Davis, and it’s a fictionalized account of a popular folk singer coming up in the Greenwich Village scene of the 1960s. Well, actually there is word that the character is loosely based on the career of real life folk artist Dave Van Ronk, but when the Coens and the phrase “loosely based” get together, the material they end up presenting usually is so much their own that you could have called it pure fiction and no one would have noticed anyway. There are not yet any rumblings on potential casting, but as with all things Coen brothers, I’ll be eagerly awaiting word. Or we could just start a […]

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published: 12.23.2014
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