INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS: REVIEW – If the Coen brothers have produced something of lasting worth in this world of ours, it is a growing cast of characters, never conventional, occasionally dumb, occasionally dislikable, who nevertheless somehow manage to win our affection and respect: The Dude, Barton Fink, Tom Reagan, Marge Gunderson, Ed Crane and Ulysses Everett McGill. Llewyn Davis joins the club. Except Llewyn in common with many a Coen anti-hero, isn’t what you might call a joiner.

Set in the midst of the folk scene of the early Sixties, Llewyn (an amazing reputation making role by Oscar Isaac) is what you might call a prickly character. Unable to filter his disdain, or feign interest in what bores him, he is a folk singer who can’t bear folk. Despite his commitment to his art, his decisions are of the one step forward two steps back variety. 

The Coen brothers lovingly reproduce the world of the pre-Dylan Village, but their portrait of tragic failure is both hilarious and unflinching. Whereas biopics swirl with stories of against the odds down on their luck heroes who triumph over adversity, the Coens create another type of hero: the glorious f*ck up of Llewyn Davis. 

And there’s a cat. 

LFF DIARY: DAY 3, 4, 5 & 6

London Film festival

LONDON – The Studio Exec is very sorry that he has been unable to keep everyone up to date with activities at the BFI London Film Festival, this has been due to unforeseen circumstances which will become evident in the diary entries we have now been able to recover. 


Going to see Nebraska. Alexander Payne is NOT a nice person. I met him in the lift at the hotel and he grabbed my hand and slapped me in the face with it repeatedly saying ‘Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself.’ Not the kind of behavior I would have expected from the director of The Descendants frankly. I consoled myself with several bottles of a sweet beer called Newcastle Brown Ale. It didn’t mix well with breakfast. 


One of the disadvantages of Cannes and Venice as film festivals is that they’re in Cannes and Venice. This are the last places in the world to encourage you to go into a darkened auditorium and see an actual film. They’re both on the Goddam beach. Toronto, Berlin and London definitely have this advantage over them. The Coen brothers came to my hotel room while I was out and glued all the furniture to the ceiling. They’ll never forgive me for greenlighting The Ladykillers


I can feel the breakfast go in my mouth, bypass my stomach and get to work immediately clogging my arteries and the ventricles of my heart. I saw Scarlett Johansson in the lobby and in an act of tribute to her performance in Under the Skin fell flat on my face. She took it well. As I got to my feet, she looked over at me sweetly and in a voice no louder than a whisper told me to ‘get out of the f*cking way, you asshole.’ Ah, I still have the magic!


I think my drinking might be getting excessive. I awoke this morning to find my liver sitting on my pillow next to my head. He didn’t say anything but I got the feeling he was silently judging me. Climbing down from my bed (note to self: call hotel manager about getting the furniture put back on the floor) I slipped and sprained my ability to think coherently.  


LONDON – The Coen Brothers‘ new film Inside Llewyn Davis ‘is not a porn movie’, insists star Oscar Isaac

Talking exclusively to the Studio Exec, Isaac was at pains to point out that – despite its racy title – the film, which will show at the London Film Festival before going on release in the Fall, was in fact a return to classical Coen territory. 

It’s actually set in the world of folk music in New York in the early sixties. I can’t say much more because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. But I can say that it is definitely not a porn movie. I don’t understand where on earth you got that notion from.

So you’re claiming it’s more erotica? 

No, it’s not erotica. It’s really not that concerned with … sex. It isn’t that kind of film.

How did you feel about having to perform full frontal nudity with Carey Mulligan?

 Well, I didn’t. Our characters have had a relationship but … Look let’s be absolutely clear, Inside Llewyn Davis is not a skin flick. It ain’t a porn movie. And that’s that. You understand? Finally?

Okay, so what does the title mean? 

Oh wait. Yeah. Now I think about it in the original cut there was this scene. It’s quite funny that I should have forgotten about it, but now it comes to mind. Anyway. Er, my character really needs money and he has to do some stuff. And you know how in Barton Fink the camera goes down the plughole and into the pipes? Well … But Ethan and Joel decide that tonally it was all wrong for the movie and so they got rid of it. So now, I’m beginning to see where the confusion comes from.

Inside Llewyn Davis will be released Fall, 2013.


plotting mayhem

CANNES – You remember in War of the Worlds where there’s a massive noise of mass destruction and they go out the next day and a massive airliner has crashed on their house? Yeah? Well, that’s like waking up after a party with Joel and Ethan Coen. And that Carey Mulligan looks like butter couldn’t melt in her mouth? Well, let me tell you it can. I mean I literally saw butter melt in her mouth last night, but I can’t possibly tell you the rest of the story. Or maybe I can.

Those literary guys are some sick f*cks. If they’re not quoting Jean Genet, they’re saying things like au contraire to each other. These are the guys who claim that Finnegan’s Wake was hilarious. They’re new film’s a blast though. A real return to form after that John Waynebull crap. And they know it.
To see them walking down the Croisette at four o’clock this morning smashing shop windows with special hammers they always take with them, was enough to make the most grizzled gendarme smile and blush like a little girl.
Before reaching for his mace.


HOLLYWOOD – The bad boys of middlebrow cinema, the Coen Brothers, launched a scathing attack against Ben Affleck today during an interview with French culture magazine Chapeau.

‘That asshole stole our movie and he’s gonna pay with his nut,’ they said in unison in a The Shining way that they’ve perfected over the years. ‘His film Argo was clearly a rip off of our film and when we get our hands on him he’s gonna be shy a nut. We’re going to take it off with pliers.’

It appears that the Hudsucker Proxies (as they prefer to be known) were labouring under the false impression that Affleck’s Argo was essentially a remake of Fargo. Joel – the more coherent of the two – flew solo on this one:  

Mr Potato Head

Mr. Potato head thinks he can do anything just because he used to dingle Beyonce or someone. Well, he can’t. Remaking our film and then just taking a letter off the beginning of the title to try and throw us has never worked. Look how we fucked up Spielberg after he tried to make Arton Fink. We broke William Friedkin’s arm when he was planning a script Brother, Where Art Thou?

Ethan continued:

We’re only gonna take the one nut, because the other one’s there as an insurance for good behaviour. 

Matt Damon – who is widely believed to be the origin of the rumour – looked shaken and tried to explain himself. ‘I thought the guys would watch the movie, see that it was obviously not Fargo and realise I’d been pulling their leg. What I didn’t realise was how heavily these guys are into crystal meth. They sat through the whole screening facing the wrong direction and basically saw their film against the blank wall opposite the screen.’