Keith Staskiewicz
August 09, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Inside Llewyn Davis

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
105 minutes
Limited Release Date
12/06/13
performer
Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake
director
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
distributor
CBS Films
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

”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.”

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