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The Coen Brothers turn their attention to the folk scene of the early 1960s to tell another story of a clueless self-destructive loser on a quest of sorts that doesn’t particularly end well or poorly or even really quite end. This is classic mid-range Coen Brothers–enjoyable, broadly comic, some good performances, well-done music (although I am not a fan of a lot of that era of Greenwich Village folk music stuff). Oscar Isaac plays the title character (very loosely based on Dave Van Ronk), Carey Mulligan another singer who Llewyn may have gotten pregnant, Justin Timberlake as her boyfriend. Those two are a duo who are rising, whereas Llewyn does not lack talent but isn’t going anywhere, in part because he’s a self-destructive jerk. There’s John Goodman in a rather disappointing role as a heroin-addicted jazz musician and F. Murray Abraham as a folk club owner. And of course a now famous cat. This is a film recommended for an enjoyable night out, but it’s a trifle and won’t be among the Coens’ most memorable films.

7/10

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