Top positive review
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Learning to Live with Our Losses
on December 22, 2016
This is a masterpiece from master filmmakers. Like most Coen Brothers vehicles, the "context" is more of a pretext for a different text. "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" was not a film based on Homer's Odyssey, except in the most contorted way. Likewise, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is not about Dave Van Ronk, or even the pre-Dylan folk music scene, except as pretext. It is a film about living with grief and the loss of innocence, both as an individual and as a society. On the individual level, Llewyn Davis is dealing with multiple levels of grief - the suicide of his partner and the decline of his father, among others. His feelings and actions can only be understood in terms of these losses. Similarly, the Coen Brothers have set the film in the midst of the last wave of American innocence before the JFK assassination, Vietnam, Watergate and the rest. Like Llewyn Davis, we have had to learn to live with our losses, and find our peace at the end of our journey (another common CB theme). The writing, acting, music, cinematography, and overall direction are outstanding. It's not a "feel-good movie," but then again, these are not "feel good times." Perfection.