On a scale of one to Fargo, the Coen brothers have had their fair share of hits (The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona) and misses (Intolerable Cruelty...ouch). But regardless of your opinions on Javier Bardem in a bowl cut, we can all agree on the duo’s ability to suck you into their dark, strange world for a solid 90 minutes.
Their latest hyper-specific setting? New York City, 1961.
Inside Llewyn Davis is a laugh-out-loud funny (yet also achingly sad) character study of a hapless folk singer who has all the technical talent but none of the moral compass.
Watch as he couch-surfs his way from the Upper West Side to Greenwich Village, drops in on the midcentury-modern Columbia Records office, plays the now-defunct Gaslight Café and chases after a stray cat, full speed down MacDougal Street.
It’s clear the Cannes Grand Prix winner is purposefully light on plot, because the star of the show is the atmosphere--its subtle costumes, nostalgic sets, dreamy cinematography and, of course, harmony-heavy tunes. With T Bone Burnett and Marcus Mumford at the helm, the music is reason enough to see the whole thing. But a historically transformed 1 train is pretty entertaining, too.
Opens today at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13, Broadway at W. 68th St.; Regal Union Square Stadium 14, Broadway at E. 13th St.; fandango.com