The sounds of the early 1960s folk music revival float on the air like a strange, intoxicating perfume in the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” a boldly original, highly emotional journey through Greenwich Village nightclubs, a bleak New York winter, and one man’s fraught efforts to reconcile his life and his art. A product of the same deeply personal end of the Coens’ filmmaking spectrum previously responsible for the likes of “Barton Fink” and “A Serious Man,” this darkly comic musical drama with an elliptical narrative and often brusque protagonist won’t corral the same mass audience as “No Country for Old Men” and “True Grit.” But strong reviews — for the pic itself and its stupendous soundtrack — should make this December release an awards-season success for distrib CBS Films.
As they did with the 1940s Hollywood setting of “Barton Fink,” the Coens have again taken a real time and place and freely made it their own, drawing on actual persons and events for inspiration, but binding themselves only to their own bountiful imaginations. The result is a movie that neatly avoids the problems endemic to most period movies — and biopics in particular — in favor of a playful, evocatively subjective reality. Perhaps most surprising to some viewers will be the pic’s surfeit of something the Coens have sometimes been accused of lacking: deep, heartfelt sincerity.
Where Clifford Odets provided the inspiration for “Fink’s” eponymous playwright, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) has been similarly modeled on the late Dave Van Ronk, a mainstay of the ’60s New York folk revival whose vaunted reputation among musicians never translated into the commercial success enjoyed by many of his contemporaries. Like Van Ronk, the pic’s Davis is a guitar-strumming balladeer whose repertoire consists mostly of vintage American roots music of the sort catalogued by musicologists John and Alan Lomax as they traversed the southern U.S. One such tune, the haunting “Dink’s Song” (aka “Fare Thee Well”) becomes the pic’s melancholy refrain in a version purportedly cut by Davis and his former partner, Mike (British musician Marcus Mumford), before the latter’s suicide rendered Llewyn a solo act…
Click here to read the rest of the article on Variety.com.
Below is an exclusive video of Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford performing “Dink’s Song” live at Caffe Vivaldi in New York City on January 10, 2012 (click here for a rebloggable version).
Quote: “It’s really remarkable just how Mumford & Sons can turn an album full of depressing, hurting, and angry songs into a 15,000-strong sing-along. It was cathartic and exciting, empowering and inspiring. It was one of the more fun concerts I’ve seen in a long time, and — much like I felt after that first date — I can’t wait to see them again.”
[EDIT]: Be sure to read the one response below the review as well…
So good. So true. So accurate. So worth reading.
“No sophomore slump is in sight.” Accurate.
Un prestation digne d’un succès mérité
(A performance worthy of well-deserved success)
MONTRÉAL - Après deux concerts montréalais à guichets fermés l’an dernier, le groupe britannique Mumford and Sons a offert une prestation digne de leur récente vague de succès, jeudi soir, dans le cadre de leur premier passage au Centre Bell.
«Cette salle semble trop grande pour nous […], mais ce n’est pas grave, nous allons faire le “party” ce soir», a lancé d’entrée de jeu le chanteur Marcus Mumford.
Avant les quelques premières minutes du spectacle, une énergie rare se sentait dans l’amphithéâtre. Lorsque le chanteur a prononcéLover’s Eyes et que les lumières ont jailli sur la foule, les quelque 10 500 spectateurs étaient debout, déjà conquis.
La carrière de Marcus Mumford et de ses trois compagnons - qui ne sont pas ses fils véritables -, a connu un essor considérable au cours de la dernière année. Difficile de comprendre ce succès foudroyant, considérant qu’ils n’ont pas sorti de nouvel album depuisSigh no more, paru en 2009.
Le quatuor multi-instrumental a offert plusieurs extraits de leur prochain album, prévu pour février 2012.
MONTREAL - After two sold out concerts in Montreal last year, the British band Mumford and Sons gave a performance worthy of their recent wave of success on Thursday night as part of their first pass at the Bell Centre.
”The room seems too big for us […] but it’s not bad. We’re going to have a party, tonight,” said lead singer Marcus Mumford at the beginning of the concert.
Before the first few minutes of the show, a rare energy was felt throughout the amphitheater. When the singer began Lover’s Eyes and the lights sprang on into the crowd, the approximately 10,500 standing spectators were already conquered.
The career of Marcus Mumford and his three companions—not his real sons—has grown considerably over the past year. It’s difficult to understand this storm, considering they have not made a new album since Sigh No More, released in 2009.
The multi-instrumental quartet offered several excerpts from their upcoming album, scheduled for February 2012.