There is a palpable excitement brewing for Inside Llewyn Davis. It doesn’t come from folk music aficionados, or even Justin Timberlake’s devoted fan base. It comes from the lovers of the Coen Brothers. The handful of directorial features from the Minnesota siblings have ranged from subject matters of organized crime to writer’s block to bowling… but throughout, they have maintained an inimitable aura. No matter what a Coen Brothers movie is about, it is always, unmistakably, a Coen Brothers movie. And such is the case for their latest venture, starring Oscar Isaac as a folk singer in 1960s Queens.
The below trailer, premiering before the movies big Cannes Film Festival premiere, showcases Isaac in all of his infantile, oafish, nihilistic glory. You know, all the things that make for your perfect Coen Brothers hero. And he surrounds himself with a world that is unmistakably born from the imaginations of the men who dreamt up No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man, and Barton Fink. If you’re a fan of the fraternal films, make a check list of all the Coenisms that Llewyn Davis upholds in the trailer. We’ve got a few marked off…
1. Doe-Eyed, Thick-Headed Good Guy Hero with a Song in His Heart
Barton Fink (Barton Fink), Norville Barnes (The Hudsucker Proxy), The Dude (The Big Lebowski), Everett McGill (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), Larry Gopnik (A Serious Man), meet Llewyn Davis.
2. Oddballs All Around Him, Speaking in Loose Verse
What’s with the moon-faced fellow we meet at the beginning of the trailer? Was he hit in the head with a shovel and as such can only speak as though he’s reading a children’s book?
3. Pithy Hostility
Nobody tosses around a well-sculpted insult like a great Coen Brothers supporting character should.
4. Bleak, Foggy, Dreamy Worlds
From Miller’s Crossing to True Grit, the Coens have managed some dire, cloudy ambiances. Their take on Queens seems to live up just fine.
They’re from Minnesota, so it’s got to be part of their ideology.
6. John Goodman
Yeah, he’s in this one too.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter