The Coen Brothers’ last few movies have been hit and miss (hit: True Grit; misses: A Serious Man, Burn After Reading), but their latest is a definite winner. The tale of a talented but prickly musician (Oscar Isaac’s eponymous Llewyn) trying to make it on the folk scene in wintry 1961 New York, it’s deftly observed, touchingly melancholy and slyly funny. As Llewyn stumbles from one mishap to another, couch-surfing at the homes of various friends and acquaintances (including couple Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake), the Coens rein in their usual snark to deliver a surprisingly affecting portrait of a struggling artist. There’s less satire than you’d expect, too, but the hilariously dotty song ‘Please Mr Kennedy’ will leave you smiling and humming.
Inside Llewyn Davis shows at the Odeon Leicester Square at 7.15pm tonight; at the Cineworld Haymarket at 9pm on Thursday 17th October; and at Rich Mix at 6.15pm on Saturday 19th October.