The film meanders somewhat between the tops and flops of their oeuvre. It describes one week in the pathetic life of a folk singer-songwriter in legendary Greenwich Village (New York City) in the early 1960s (wikipedia). It is a somewhat sad story about dysfunctional relationships & economical misfortune blended with the typical dry Coen Brothers` humor and a dose of surrealism.
I had some problems with the casting. I didn´t get why they choose the Latin American actor Oscar Isaac for the role of Llewyn Davis, who's name signals an Irish ancestry. Isaac, who is known for action movies like "Sucker Punch" and "The Bourne Legacy", seems to be a stranger in the Greenwich Village scene of this days. I also was irritated by Justin Timberlake as a fellow Greenwich Village folk singer. Timberlake stands for contemporary soft pop and easy listening and looked a bit lost in the bohemian ambiance the movie describes. But, maybe this casting is part of the special Coen Brother humor and might even has a philosophical connotation about our roles in life.
The rest of the cast was as great as you can expect from such ambitious filmmakers. John Goodman gave a powerful and on the same time hilarious performance. Carey Mulligan made her beauty and her talents more visible than in "The Great Gatsby" and "Shame". It was glad to see F. Murray Abraham again, even in a short role. The actor played unforgettably Mozart`s nemesis Salieri in "Amadeus" around 30 years ago.
But my favorite actor was a orange colored cat (or where there more?) who´s spontaneity added some goofiness to the plot and made me laugh to tears.
Bruno Delbonnel´s cinematography gave the movie a lot authenticity and beauty. His Oscar nomination is well deserved.
If I had 10 stars to spend I would give 6 to "Inside Llewyn Davis" (including 2 for the cat and 2 for cinematography).