As is commonplace with any Coen brothers film, the ensemble cast is brilliant, with John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver and F. Murray Abraham joining Isaac and Mulligan. There’s also a ginger cat which gets possibly the second highest amount of screentime after the eponymous lead, along with an array of colourful supports who Llewyn crosses paths with along the way. Another character is the music, such great music all the way through and such great caricatures in this world. Oscar Isaac has a silky-smooth voice, and like Joaquin Phoenix did in Walk the Line, Isaac really shows his raw talent as a singer and performer.
This movie showcases how cool the Coens are, as there are few directors out there (Tarantino is one), who can make a film feel so charged and electric from the simple scenes of meaningless dialogue or awkward silences – the road scenes with Goodman and Hedlund are superb. America hasn’t looked so cool for a while, and the indie vibe this film gives off is surely no accident, it never risks over-exposing the folk scene, overdoing the music or saturating us with a New York message; instead, like Llewyn Davis himself, it refuses to sell out, and stays true to its roots. Just a pleasure to watch, this is the Coen brothers at their very best. [5/5]