Inside Llewyn Davis (2012)
The Coen brothers’ funny, wistful elegy to early 1960s folk music stars Oscar Isaac as a songwriter struggling through a cold and calamitous winter. Shambolic and self-absorbed, Llewyn (Oscar Isaac) is a penniless musician on the fringes of the emerging folk scene, reduced to the occasional Greenwich Village gig and roughing it on the couches of barely sympathetic friends. Things go from hapless to hopeless when Llewyn loses a kindly couple’s beloved marmalade cat and discovers that his fling with married songstress Jean (Carey Mulligan) has resulted in a very unwanted pregnancy.
Driver plays Al Cody, who forms part of Llewyn’s band, holding his own amongst a splendid cast including John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake. Punctuated throughout with terrifically memorable characters, Inside Llewyn Davis riffs on the traditional biopic, creating a fictional reality that is nevertheless entirely honest in its portrayal of creative vulnerability and hubris, and that is heartfelt in its love for the era and its sounds.