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Cannes Film Festival 2013: Inside Llewyn Davis Review

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Cannes Film Festival 2013: Inside Llewyn Davis Review

The Coen brothers switch gears so often and with such gleeful finesse that their restlessness can no longer qualify as genre-hopping pastiche, if it ever did. At this point they’re simply a style unto themselves, a self-sufficient duo with a built in audience, art-house cred, and, when they want to indulge, box-office potential. Inside Llewyn Davis, then, isn’t a curveball so much as another stopover on a now-two-decade-plus journey that’s taken on noir, slapstick, thriller, western, and everything in between. It’s also one of their strongest recent efforts, an alternately world-weary and hilarious ode to a period of relatively recent vintage that’s nonetheless cherished as an era of new ideas, free-thinking, and artistic progression.

The folk scene that emanated from New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood in the late ‘60s is particularly prone to nostalgia, and not just from those who lived through it, but also for those of a younger generation who retain a bit of the ideology that fueled the nascent movement. Oscar Isaac, in the title role, bleeds such effortless essence: His mix of ambling aloofness, self-deprecation, obstinate irony, and unconscious charm is endearing in ways that many a Coen character has resonated. As he wanders from New York City to Chicago searching for a record deal that will finally take him off the troubadour circuit, Llewyn crosses paths with a bevy of oddball personalities, from John Goodman’s heroine-addled orator to F. Murray Abraham’s skeptical producer to Garret Hedlund’s stoic chauffeur. As they’ve made a habit of, the Coens fill out the film with a great selection of character actors and juicy cameos, including a wonderful, fleeting turn from Justin Timberlake as Llewyn’s rival performer.

What’s particularly interesting about this film, and it’s a theme that has coursed through the brothers’ career from the start, is that Llewyn doesn’t mature or change much at all though his travels, trails, and tribulation. When we meet him he’s a bitter, somewhat entitled singer-songwriter, and when we leave him he’s mostly the same, though perhaps more resigned to his fate than a struggling musician should probably admit. Not even impregnating his ex-girlfriend (Carey Mulligan, in a fantastic and unexpected comedic turn) raises much of fuss inside Llewyn, who’d probably rather be miserable with a girl who despises him than go out of his way to meet anyone new. The Coens don’t offer a structured narrative in any typical sense, instead following Llewyn as he makes mistakes (he spends a good portion of the film chasing after a lost cat named Ulysses, raising an obvious parallel between himself and James Joyce’s quintessential vagabond), burns bridges, and alienates everyone that supports him. In other words, he’s a classic Coen antihero, and he stands alongside A Serious Man’s Larry Gopnick and The Man Who Wasn’t There’s Ed Crane as fascinating, unsettled, yearning characters searching for answers which may never arrive.

With its reverent mix of vintage tunes, period-perfect threads, and Ulysses-nodding non-narrative, Inside Llewyn Davis can play at times as a kind of companion piece to O Brother, Where Art Thou? But whereas the comedy played slightly broad in that Southern chain-gang tale, Inside Llewyn Davis’s humor is sharper, more incisive, and more thematically relevant—not to mention funnier. In fact, this may be the Coens’ funniest film since The Big Lebowski, a film which trafficked in yet another, completely different type of humor, speaking again to the brothers’ broad writing talents. Befitting it’s title character, Inside Llewyn Davis is a modest, unassuming film, but one with enough latent charm and unique personality to standout even amidst a career of such wild diversions.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15—26.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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