Inside Llewyn Davis is film about the struggle of young man who happens to be a folk singer. It's not a story celebrating folk music. There are good and not so great moments depicting the effort to stay in the music business.
The main character is not a shining example as an artist who makes good. He seems to have trouble relating to the people around him while ironically singing soulfully about his fellow man.
The music and acting is first rate, and most of the music appears to be authentic performances. There are some funny moments and "inside" jokes, musicians will appreciate, along with some examples of why the business of music stifles art.
The story is set in the early sixties, and there's a brief moment in a club when we see a reference to a certain folk guitar/singer wearing a harp take the stage in the background.
It's a bleak period in the main character's life, and given the timeframe, it's probably the closest view inside to the early folk scene you may ever see portrayed. Not so much a film about the music, but a view of of someone struggling to make it.
RT: What do you play on this guitar.
LD: I play folk songs. I'm a folksinger
RT: Oh, I thought you said you were a musician.