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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) Movie Review

It is a subtle and emotional film about one's struggle to continue his passion while being continuously drawn to it. Inside Llewyn Davis is not just a piece of art that dwells on a single folk singer but also features topics about depression and mental health.

This might be one of the best performances of Oscar Isaac.

Plot Overview

The movie follows a struggling folk singer/musician named Llewyn Davis. He just released his first album, Inside Llewyn Davis, but it was a huge flop. He is penniless and mostly sleeps with acquaintances he meets while performing. One night, while performing in a cafe, he was beaten up by an unknown person.

Davis wakes up in the apartment of two friends, and as he is leaving, their cat runs away and gets locked out. He chases it and brings it to the place of other folk singers, Jim and Jean Berkley. Jean does not want Davis to stay at their apartment, but she mentions she is pregnant. She is unsure if Davis is the father, so she asks him if he can give her money for an abortion.

Davis visits his sister and hopes to borrow money but gives him his belongings. She mentions that he could earn while working at the Merchant Marine. Meanwhile, Jim invites Davis to record a space-themed novelty song. He agrees but immediately takes the $200 payout to compensate for Jean's abortion. He tried to book an appointment but was turned away because he already paid for someone two years ago, but the girl decided to keep the baby. Davis tries to impress every manager he meets with his music, but they turn him away, or he rejects them.


The movie Inside Llewyn Davis is so subtle yet so good. It may not be the Cohen brother's best work, but it still delivered. It is driven by the outstanding performance of Oscar Isaac.

It's hard to know what is the main message of the film. Some say that it's to show the repetitive experience of Llewyn Davis as he continues to struggle with change in the music he plays, and he is continuously drawn with it. Others mention that this film should uplift one's spirits if anyone is experiencing depression or anxiety. Whatever the true message is, the Cohen brothers delivered a masterpiece.

Overall, I really like the subtle feeling of the film. There's no character development, and the outstanding songs are carefully chosen to signify the main character's problems.

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