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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.

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Comment by Phil Manuel on January 4, 2014 at 10:21pm
Jud, that's what I read, too. AlI performances do appear very authentic. Sadly, IMHO, there are not enough of them, though the music is not the main focus. I did enjoy the film notwithstanding. Especially nice to see Justin Timberlake as a clean cut singer a-la Peter, Paul, and Mary. The times and staging are spot on, as is the music.
Comment by Jud Hair on January 4, 2014 at 9:19pm

Phil ... thanks for the review.  I was looking forward to seeing this movie and I still want to see it, but now I think I might just wait until it comes to pay-per-view rather than try to see it in the theater.  It's not showing around here anyway.  It's my understanding from other commentary that all the actors did their own singing and on tope of that, the Coen Brothers insisted that they got only one take to add to the authenticity of club stage performances.

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