Inside Llewyn Davis | EW.com

Movies

Inside Llewyn Davis

”There’s no success like failure,” sang Bob Dylan, and ”failure’s no success at all.” Dylan was the most iconic of the folk poets to come out of the cafés and cold-water flats of New York City’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s, the milieu inhabited by the Coen brothers in their new film, Inside Llewyn Davis. His words are especially resonant for the misanthropic protagonist, a talented musician (Oscar Isaac) who nevertheless sees triumph, both personal and professional, slipping out of his grasp. ”Success and failure is on such a knife’s edge, that’s a lot of what this film is about,” says Isaac, 33, who for years has been working steadily but not showily in films like Drive and Robin Hood. The Juilliard-trained actor is also a musician, a key factor in his casting. ”The universe aligned perfectly for me to get this part,” he says. ”But that doesn’t always happen, and it doesn’t happen for Llewyn.”