Cannes 2013: ‘Llewyn Davis’ preview

2 minutes



There’s not an awful lot that gets the tongues of indie film fans a-wagging more than the approach of a new Coen brothers movie. After a string of four films in as many years, they’ve had a little break their last directorial effort True Grit (2010), but they’re back this year with Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). Due to hit UK cinemas in early 2014 after premièring at Cannes, the film is the story of the titular folk singer attempting to find his way in the New York music scene of the 1960s. Now, those eagerly anticipating the release have a teaser trailer to tide them over. Loosely based on the memoir of folk singer Dave Van Ronk, The Mayor of the MacDougal Street, the film follows Llewyn Davis’ (Oscar Isaacs) as he navigates the Greenwich Village music scene.

Joining Isaacs will be Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake as Jean and Jim Berkey, making a trio of new acting collaborators for the directing duo. Also cast are On the Road’s Garrett Hedlund and Coens regular John Goodman. There’s precious little of the overall plot to be gleaned from the teaser, but what is suggested is a particularly antagonistic relationship between Llewyn and the snarling Jean – between whom one particular bit of advice would suggest there have been prior relations. The trailers mixture of Bob Dylan’s Farewell and Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography, both glowing and muted, makes the film look an awful lot like a folk music album cover from 1960s just upped and started moving.

Inside Llewyn Davis’ largely straight first trailer suggests the more dramatic side of the directors coming to the fore. Between Goodman’s appearance and Mulligan’s spiky tongue, however, there should be more than enough of the brothers’ particular brand of humour doing the rounds to keep everyone chuckling. After a couple of less the exceptional efforts in the last few years, this one looks like the Coens back on top form.

The 66th Cannes Film Festival takes place from 15-27 May, 2013. For more of our Cannes 2013 coverage, simply follow this link. 

Ben Nicholson

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