Filmmakers Joel & Ethan Coen’s new project, Inside Llewyn Davis is a bitter-sweet story about singer-songwriter Llewyn Davis, told over the course of a few days in the Winter of 1961, unfolding in an elliptical narrative fashion that doubles back on itself revealing the struggles of a self-destructive but wonderfully talented artist.
Set against the nascent folk scene in the West Greenwich Village, New York, the story foreshadows the emergence of Bob Dylan – when American music would once again discover its roots while fostering a new generation of artists set against times that were very much “a changing.”
Led by actor Oscar Isaac, in an incredible central performance, and an array of great work turned in by fellow actors Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, and F. Murray Abraham, among others, the film evokes, through beautiful photography, production design and music, a storied time and place, from a palette of rich color and lighting within the film’s central location of a fictitious smoke-filled music club, in the West Village and slushy snow covered New York streets. The color palette of film, photographed by the celebrated cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, AFC, is reminiscent of the album cover of one of Mr. Dylan’s most distinctive covers, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.
Technicolor’s senior digital colorist, Peter Doyle, handled the film grading chores, first from dailies and principal photography in New York City, from Technicolor-Postworks NY, and then the film’s digital intermediate finish performed from Doyle’s home base in London, at Technicolor Soho.
Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel was awarded the Bronze Frog Award from the Camerimage festival in late November for his subtle wonderful photography. The film was subsequently accorded the prestigious IFP Gotham Award, for Best Feature. Mr. Delbonnel, the next day, received news that his work was awarded Best Cinematography by the New York Film Critics Circle Award. Joel and Ethan Coen subsequently won the Best Original Screenplay Award, by the National Board of Review.