Sunday 24 September 2017

DVD Reviews: Inside Llewyn Davis

Ben Keenan

Melancholic and thin on the Coen Brothers' usual tricks and gimmicks, Inside Llewyn Davis is an intimate look at the cold and difficult life of a not-quite-happening professional musician. Published but broke, Llewyn is a selfish man lost in the world, travelling angrily from one crisis to another.

For all of his grumbling and hardships, his talent and sardonic humour keep him from becoming unlikeable. There's a lot to enjoy in John Goodman as the rude, smacked-out jazz musician, Carey Mulligan's joyously hostile friend, and her boyfriend, played by Justin Timberlake.

For reasons that will become apparent, the narrative is left dangling but, if you can stick with it, this is a classically-made film bursting at the seams with beautiful music and well-written characters.

4 STARS

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Macho in a world dripping with testosterone, DiCaprio is alternately mesmerising and pathetic in the lead role of Jordan Belfort in this epic three-hour orgy of drugs, violence and sex. Martin Scorsese's morality tale veers wildly in tone, somehow always managing to find real comedy in otherwise shocking tragedy. The supporting cast is strong, with an unforgettable turn by Matthew McConaughey as Jordan's first mentor. Jonah Hill is the most impressive co-star as Jordan's sleazy, gawky partner in financial crime, bringing pathos as well as serious comedy chops.

4 STARS

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent
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