Film Lists

Blood Simple: Five great Coen Brothers movies

Jenn Reid looks at five of the greatest Coen Brothers movies as Blood Simple returns to cinemas...

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

The Coen Brothers are some of the most successful indie directors of all time, so what would they know about failure? Apparently a lot, if Inside Llewyn Davis is anything to go by. Llewyn (the always fantastic Oscar Isaac) is a folk singer in 1960s New York who can’t, and won’t, catch a break. His singing partner committed suicide, his married lover wants an abortion, he isn’t making any money, he gets beat up in an alley, and he lost (and may have killed) a friend’s cat.

The film is told in a circular fashion, with Llewyn getting beat up in an alleyway at the beginning and end. It’s a different story-telling technique than they’ve used before and it works not only cinematically, but thematically – Llewyn is getting beat up for the whole run time, in one way or another, and he’s constantly making bad decisions and missing his chance to ‘change’ things. In a more conventional movie, Llewyn would learn his lesson. Thank goodness the Coens have never been ones for convention.

What is your favourite Coen Brothers movie? Let us know!

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