Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Inside Llewyn Davis

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Folk singer Llewyn Davis is struggling – big time. His musical career has hit the skids, he has no money, and worst of all – he is sleeping on the couches of friends / acquaintances.

Could things get any worse?…

 

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Cast

 Oscar Isaac – Llewyn Davis

Carey Mulligan – Jean Berkey

Stark Sands – Troy Nelson

Garrett Hedlund – Johnny Five

Justin Timberlake – Jim Berkey

Adam Driver – Al Cody

John Goodman – Roland Turner

Ulysses – Cute Cat

 

 

 

Mirror, Mirror..

Is it me or are these ‘life mirror’ movies getting better? What I mean by ‘life mirror’ is movies which – well – mirror real life. You can have Jeremy Renner speeding through the streets of Italy on a motorbike, or Angelina Jolie hanging upside down from the top of a skyscraper – fine. But these things don’t (generally) happen.

A person throwing a fit of rage at a dinner table, grabbing their coat and then announcing to the upset host, “you don’t have to get your coat – I’m leaving. That’s why I got my coat” (triggering the audience to cry out with laughter) – now that does and can happen in real life. And it’s kinda funny, no? Because although this person is throwing the fit of rage, they still find a second to slide in a genuinely honest comment about the construction of the situation.

Inside Llewyn Davis was packed with such observational humour, that it had the audience LOL’ing almost all the way through. From Llewyn’s desperate attempt at fame, to conversations held over a dinner table, the entire thing nailed the aspects of everyday life.

It’s funny – because it’s true.

 

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I Hate Cats – Except This One

A dog will leap up at you and offer you ‘hug paws’ when you walk through the door.

A dog will curl up with you and protect you.

A dog is loyal, and doesn’t ask for much but offers a lot of affection in return.

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A cat will hiss at you if you piss it off.

A cat will lift its tail and show you its arsehole, before leaping off the table and disappearing.

A cat leaves fur, strands of yucky hair and furballs everywhere.

A cat will irritatingly strut across your lap, expecting to be petted – once petted, will give you a sultry look, then fuck off for a day or two.

Pregnant classic or blotched tabby female cat Pumpkin walking

Let’s be honest – dogs are the better animal, by far. And I have never liked cats. HOWEVER…

Praise to the cute, furry little thing which graced the screen with such cuteness that I actually wanted to take the moggy home with me. The cat isn’t a main element of the movie – it is just there. It simply leaves an apartment with Llewyn one morning, and becomes hand luggage whilst our main man journeys around the city, going about his business. Llewyn soon ends up at the apartment of his friend Jean where he stays the night – with little puss also taking up residence. But the orange moggy soon escapes out of the window, and is not seen again.

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Until later on in the movie when he returns..

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I must say, whenever the little puss was on screen I felt all gooey. This animal put me in a proper “I want it!” mode. His pokey ears, white chops and long whiskers were just adorable (the cat, too) – perhaps my opinion of cats has upped slightly, but this fluffy little fella was scrumptious.

Stark Raving Funny

One scene introduces us to Troy Nelson; a young well-mannered man who appears to be staying at Jean’s apartment also. Played brilliantly by Stark Sands, this gentleman’s personality comes across almost surreal. He cocks his head and says “oh! hello!” the first time he sees Llewyn, in a proper 50’s gentleman-style way. You know the classic way Mickey Mouse spoke – or a 1950’s barber. Straight-back, peachy skin, big blue eyes – and fresh manners. He is quite refreshing mainly due to his surreal appearance and personality, and adds a splash of colour to a rather grey film. Praise to this actor for his fresh dynamics which he brought to the screen.

 

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Goodman Boredom

I was enjoying Inside Llewyn Davis. And just as I was settling into the story comfortably..

..along came Goodman.

Fucking John Goodman. The “oh Christ, you again” of Hollywood pops up as jazz musician Roland Turner, a man who gives Llewyn a ride to Chicago. Seriously – I know its part of the Coen brothers family tradition to use John in many of their productions, but for the love of fuck. The second he appeared, I automatically deflated and scowled.

I’m sure he used to be hilarious years ago (Arachnophobia, etc.) but nowadays he literally is just ‘the old guy to fill time’ – and it bores the pants off me.

End of rant.

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Mulligan & Timberlake

 ..sounds rather like the name of an estate agents or solicitors, but moving on now to the male and female roles who held the movie together nicely. The very first time I saw Carey Mulligan was in an episode of Doctor Who; I’m unsure if many people know this but she starred as Sally Sparrow in Blink (2007) – and she seems to have shot to Hollywood fame rather nicely. And in this?..

Fucking hilarious.

When Jean secretly informs Llewyn that she is pregnant and he may be the father – not her partner Jim – the confusion begins, as well as the quest for abortion. From her first appearance, Jean is forthright and foul-mouthed – but bloody funny. I revelled in her ‘pissed off’ attitude, and found her character incredibly easy to accept.

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And as for Justin Timberlake – he nailed it as folk musician Jim. Furry and rather quirky, his character is mellow and glides at ease through life; a character I’ve not seen Justin play before. Usually he’s the squeaky dude who bip-bop’s his way through a script in a smart tie and trainers – this time round, he’s different. Take away his usual clean-cut attitude and he’s like a breath of fresh air whenever on screen.

He doesn’t appear for very long either, which was nice – not in a horrible sense – I just mean such a massive celebrity having a cameo role rather than a ‘biggie’ is nice; as if they just wanted to help out.

 

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Watch Out For:

The scene where Mulligan and Timberlake are on stage singing together.

Mulligan wears a ribbed, polo-neck jumper as she stands next to him singing – the perfect jumper material to expose erect and non-erect nipples. Stood next to such a hunk, I was sure her nips would make an appearance (I mean, if I can get a boner over J.T., I’m sure a woman would get a little flushed also)

I didn’t notice anything, but by Christ she was wearing the wrong jumper for that scene.

 

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Music

Musicians, singers, live entertainers, and other people involved in the business will no doubt enjoy this movie. Its main theme is singing.  Inside Llewyn Davis opens with a song, being sung smoothly by Oscar Isaac as he strums his guitar. It is actually rather soothing; his voice is beautifully soulful. And as the movie continues, it centres around Llewyn working on his music and trying to make a living from it. This movie would be to musicians what Dirty Dancing is to dancers – so if you know someone who is into his / her music, take them along. They will probably enjoy this aspect of it. 

One scene sees Llewyn, Jim and Al in a recording studio performing a song (Please Mr. Kennedy) – and I have to say, I was captivated. Call me a bender, but this scene was so strange yet warming that I found myself smiling all the way through.

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..OK, I’m a bender.

 

 

 

Not As Boring As I Thought

 When I first saw the dull grey poster for this movie, I have to admit – I thought it looked awful. Yes, I know – I totally judged a book by its cover, but it gave me the impression of being rather boring. Simple. Like that movie Walk The Line (Joaquin Phoenix) – the look of that movie doesn’t inspire me to see it. I was proved wrong. (bloody love it when that happens)

Although the poster may be dull, Inside Llewyn Davis was far from it – and am I glad I made an effort to see it.

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What Went Wrong

 As always, I give a fair review – the good’s and the bad’s. So what went tits-up with this movie?…

..nothing.

The only thing I could potentially put a downer on is the fact the movie is very grey in colour – so grey it almost dampens the feature. Although it runs the risk of being dull, its comedy picks it back up again. To be honest, this is a lovely little feature in its own right, its own genre.

 

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Overall, Inside Llewyn Davis is heartfelt and honest. It is a funny but serious story of one man trying to gain success for himself, whilst having to overcome social obstacles in the process. The movie may not follow much of a plot, but just let yourself follow Llewyn.

Its observational humour is to be applauded, its concept to be admired, its performance to be enjoyed.

Grunge meets Grandfather as this lovely film blends the era of the 1960’s with mellow music & quirky characters.

 

..and a lovely pussy.

 

 

 

7/10

 

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2014 by .
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