Here's a promising Cannes review of the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, another step in a long journey. (HND)
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.