• I need time—but it may go down as the Coen brothers’ best work
  • The Coen brothers make films that are indelibly their own—and have their distinct voice—as this film does—but they are also very keen on the detail for the time, place and local vernacular and flavor. This film could only take places in the winter (perhaps as much so, or close, as Fargo is set in the winter) and only during this era in Greewich village.
  • It’s a study of the artist vs. the system- or art vs commerce (or art vs. Hollywood for the coens)
  • The film wonderfully bookends with the same night at the Gaslight—you need to see the full film (and probably at least twice) to fully take it in but the night he splits the basket (divides money from the crowd) with Bob Dylan is the night Dylan becomes a star and the night he gets a punch in the face—it’s a devastating moment as is the Murray Abraham “I don’t see a lot of money here” moment
  • Llewyn Davis is as good a character as the Coen’s have produced—even if he’s not nearly as likeable as The Big Lewbowski or Marge Gunderson- so richly complex and profoundly sad. Closest earlier cousin (both in character and film) may be Barton Fink
  • Isaac is a revelation—a young Pacino in the making
  • Tragically sad “hang me” opening
  • Again, the viewing needs the entirety of the running time (and then some) to fully accept. It’s not easy, even with the flashback there’s no “last week” from the Coen’s
  • A medication on grief (his former partner comes up 4 times in first 30 minutes) but it never shows you the full wound—it’s just part of him- and like always with the Coens– fate
  • Like O Brother, Where Art Thou? When the Coen’s get into music they do not mess around
  • The “Freewheeling Bob Dylan” album cover is closely mimicked but of course the Llewyn Davis is closest to Dave Van Ronk
  • It’s not an easy film—– largely plotless— and in many ways it’s one long punch in the face to Llewyn—he constantly makes the wrong decision but he’s not overly sympathetic (asks his friend for money for abortion for the girl he’s sleeping with who happens to be that same friend’s girlfriend) and isn’t pitied
  • It’s a Coen film- which means dialogue and phrases are repeated— this doesn’t help the Mulligan character—she just swears at him—I wish she had more
  • He’s an aimless Seaman—much like The Master– sleeping on couches
  • Quite a scene to have Isaac with Adam Driver (two young talents) with Timberlake
  • Llewyn is so salty—makes mistakes- takes $200 instead of getting royalties—he’s surviving, jaded, an asshole
  • The lighting in the dining oasis over the highway on the way to Chicago is stunning
  • It’s rambling and philosophical—bathroom wall says “what are you doing?”—he abandons the cat—the entire Cat (Ulysses)—we have the “incredible journey” poster—cat as metaphor
  • The scene where Llewyn doesn’t choose to get off at Akron is a tough one—hits the cat
  • Gets assed kicked while Dylan becomes a star
  • Isaac is absolutely masterful- the best performance of 2013—heavy eyes—“I’m tired”
  • The film is one of the saddest films I’ve ever seen- it wallops you
  • Colors we have muted browns, grays and blues
  • Reminds me a little of Five Easy Pieces
  • A narratively-led masterpiece- which I don’t have a ton of
  • Masterpiece