Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

R | 105 mins | Comedy-drama | 6 December 2013

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
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Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Cinematographer:

Bruno Delbonnel

Editor:

Roderick Jaynes

Production Designer:

Jess Gonchor

Production Companies:

StudioCanal, Mike Zoss Productions
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HISTORY

End credits include: “Filmed with the support of the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development.” Also included are the following “Special Thanks to: Elijah Wald; Andrea Vuocolo; Jeff Rosen; Adam Tudhope; Jason Colton; Larry Jenkins; Columbia Records name and logo courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment; MSG Entertainment and the Beacon Theatre; Westchester County; Town of Riverhead, NY; City of New Rochelle, NY; NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor; Katherine L. Oliver, Commissioner; NYPD Movie & TV Unit; New York Transit Authority; General Mills Archives; Norman’s Rare Guitars; The Red Lotus Room.”
       According to various contemporary sources, including a 28 Jan 2013 NYT article, Inside Llewyn Davis was loosely based on the life of folk musician Dave Von Ronk and his 2005 memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, which was complied by Elijah Wald after Von Ronk’s death in 2002. Although neither Von Ronk nor The Mayor of MacDougal Street are credited onscreen as source material, Elijah Wald is listed first in the acknowledgements, just before Van Ronk’s widow, Andrea Vuocolo, and end credits feature Von Ronk’s live performance of “Green Green Rocky Road.” Wald told NYT that he was unaware “for years” that the book had been optioned by filmmaker brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.
       On 31 Aug 2011, DV announced that France’s StudioCanal had formally agreed to “co-finance and handle international sales” for a new project written by the Coen brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis. The picture marked the third collaboration between the Coen brothers, producer Scott Rudin, and executive ...

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End credits include: “Filmed with the support of the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development.” Also included are the following “Special Thanks to: Elijah Wald; Andrea Vuocolo; Jeff Rosen; Adam Tudhope; Jason Colton; Larry Jenkins; Columbia Records name and logo courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment; MSG Entertainment and the Beacon Theatre; Westchester County; Town of Riverhead, NY; City of New Rochelle, NY; NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor; Katherine L. Oliver, Commissioner; NYPD Movie & TV Unit; New York Transit Authority; General Mills Archives; Norman’s Rare Guitars; The Red Lotus Room.”
       According to various contemporary sources, including a 28 Jan 2013 NYT article, Inside Llewyn Davis was loosely based on the life of folk musician Dave Von Ronk and his 2005 memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, which was complied by Elijah Wald after Von Ronk’s death in 2002. Although neither Von Ronk nor The Mayor of MacDougal Street are credited onscreen as source material, Elijah Wald is listed first in the acknowledgements, just before Van Ronk’s widow, Andrea Vuocolo, and end credits feature Von Ronk’s live performance of “Green Green Rocky Road.” Wald told NYT that he was unaware “for years” that the book had been optioned by filmmaker brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.
       On 31 Aug 2011, DV announced that France’s StudioCanal had formally agreed to “co-finance and handle international sales” for a new project written by the Coen brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis. The picture marked the third collaboration between the Coen brothers, producer Scott Rudin, and executive producer Robert Graf, who previously worked together on No Country for Old Men (2007, see entry) and True Grit (2010, see entry). Two months later, the 31 Oct 2011 DV reported that Justin Timberlake had been offered a leading role as “Jim,” paired with Carey Mulligan, whose casting as “Jean” was announced in the 21 Oct 2011 DV. A 2 Nov 2011 Var news item noted that StudioCanal was showcasing the project at the American Film Market, 2 – 9 Nov 2011, to recruit potential distributors. By 7 Feb 2012, DV reported a “swathe of presales” for the production, which was scheduled to begin principal photography 13 Feb 2012 in New York City.
       As stated in a 20 May 2013 LAT article, the Coen brothers nearly came to a standstill in the casting process, and feared that it would be impossible to find a suitable actor for the role of “Llewyn Davis.” They mandated that the performer have talent as a singer and execute entire songs, demonstrating that Davis was a credible musician, and revealing an intimate part of the character not explained in the dialogue. LAT also noted that the first scene of the picture, in which Davis is beat up outside the Gaslight Cafe in New York City, depicts the Coen brothers’ “initial idea” that inspired the film. The brothers reportedly spent years trying to frame a story around the scene, but always intended for the picture to be circuitous. They also noted that casting Oscar Isaac as Davis allowed the character to evolve away from Van Ronk, since the two men’s singing voices were so distinct.
       The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France on 19 May 2013 to critical acclaim and won the festival’s Grand Prix award.
       On 29 Sep 2013, Inside LLewyn Davis was promoted with a three-hour, folk music tribute concert and fundraiser for the National Recording Preservation Foundation at Town Hall in New York City, titled “Another day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis.” As stated in a 30 Sep 2013 LAT article, the show featured soundtrack songs, curated by executive music producer T Bone Burnett, as well as performances by Patti Smith, Joan Baez, Elvis Costello, and Jack White, among others. A filmed version of the concert was set for broadcast on Showtime cable television in Dec 2013. A 10 Nov 2013 LAT article noted that the release of the Coen brothers and Burnett’s previous collaboration, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000, see entry), was also predated by a similar benefit concert.
       Inside Llewyn Davis was screened at the closing night of the 49th Chicago International Film Festival, on 24 Oct 2013, as well as at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles, CA, on 13 Nov 2013.
       Inside Llewyn Davis was nominated for three Golden Globe awards in the following categories: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Original Song – Motion Picture (“Please Mr. Kennedy”), and Best Motion Picture. It was also named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year in 2013. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards in the categories Sound Mixing and Cinematography.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 Aug 2011
---
Daily Variety
21 Oct 2011
---
Daily Variety
31 Oct 2011
---
Daily Variety
7 Feb 2012
---
Los Angeles Times
20 May 2013
Section D, p. 1
Los Angeles Times
30 Sep 2013
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 2013
Section E, p. 1
Los Angeles Times
6 Dec 2013
p. 1
New York Times
28 Jan 2013
Section C, p. 1
New York Times
6 Dec 2013
p. 1
Variety
2 Nov 2011
---
Variety
18 May 2013
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A CBS Films and StudioCanal Presentation
In Association with Anton Capital Entertainment
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Prod
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Film loader
Steadicam op
Cam prod asst
Chief lighting tech
Best boy elec
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Genny op
Basecamp generator op
Rigging chief lighting tech
Rigging best boy elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Company grip
Company grip
Company grip
Company grip
Key rigging grip
Best boy rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Still photog
Video assist
Equip provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
Graphic des
Graphic des
Nibdipper
Art dept prod asst
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Asst set dec
Set dec buyer
Set dec prod asst
Leadman
Set dressing foreperson
Set dressing foreperson
Set dressing foreperson
Set dressing foreperson
On-set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
David Allen
Asst prop
Asst prop
Asst prop
Head carpenter
Shopcraft foreman
Shopcraftsman
Shopcraftsman
Key const grip
Best boy const grip
Const elec
Const prod asst
Charge scenic
Foreman scenic
Scenic artist
Charles Suter
Scenic artist
Maria Suter
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Lead shopman
Shopman scenic
Shopman scenic
Cam scenic
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Key costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Seamstress
Ager/Dyer
Costume PA
Costume PA
MUSIC
Exec mus prod
Mus ed
Mus ed
Assoc mus prod
Songs rec & mixed
Songs rec & mixed
Mus prod coord
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Utility sd
Sd FX ed
Igor Nikolić
Asst sd ed
ADR ed
ADR mixer
ADR rec
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff coord
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Randy Balsmeyer
Titles by
Titles by
Visual eff by
Visual eff supv, Framestore
Visual eff line prod, Framestore
Visual eff prod, Framestore
Visual eff ed, Framestore
Visual eff prod asst, Framestore
Compositing supv, Framestore
Digital compositor, Framestore
Digital compositor, Framestore
Digital compositor, Framestore
Digital compositor, Framestore
Digital compositor, Framestore
Digital compositor, Framestore
Paint and roto artist, Framestore
Paint and roto artist, Framestore
Paint and roto artist, Framestore
Pipeline TD, Framestore
Pipeline TD, Framestore
Engineer, Framestore
MAKEUP
Makeup dept head
Key makeup artist
Hair dept head
Key hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod supv
Prod accountant
Loc mgr
Post prod supv
Post prod asst
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod secy
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc scout
Loc asst
Loc coord
Unit prod asst
Unit prod asst
Parking coord
1st asst accountant
2d asst accountant
Payroll accountant
Accounting clerk
Payroll clerk
Casting assoc
Extras casting
Extras casting asst
Extras casting asst
Voice casting
Voice casting
Unit pub
Animal wrangler
Asst animal wrangler
New guy
Asst to Mr. Rudin
Asst to Mr. Graf
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Set medic
Set medic
Catering by
Craft service
Post prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Completion guarantee provided by
Collection account management
Mus clearances
Rights & clearances by
Rights & clearances
Rights & clearances
Rights & clearances
Addl legal services
Serious matters
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Llewyn stunt double
Llewyn stunt driver
COLOR PERSONNEL
Dailies and digital intermediate by
Supv digital colorist
Dailies colorist
Dailies project mgr
Dailies col assists
Dailies col assists
Digital media assist
Digital media supv
DI prod
DI prod
DI ed
Opt compositor
Grading tech support
Chief eng
Account exec
Col by
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Requiem In D Minor, Lacrimosa Dies," written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, courtesy of Naxos of America; "Ballade No. 2 In F Minor, Op. 38," written by Frédéric Chopin, performed by Peter Frankl, courtesy of Vox Music Group, by arrangement with SPJ Music; "Piano Sonata No. 15 In D Major, Op. 28 - Pastorale," written by Ludwig van Beethoven, performed by Daniel Barenboim, courtesy of EMI Records Ltd, under License from EMI Film & Telvision Music; "Symphony No. 4 In G: IV. Sehr Behaglich - Wir Geniessen Die Himmlischen Freuden," written by Gustav Mahler, performed by Daniel Harding/Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Dorothea Röschmann, courtesy of Virgin Classics, under license from EMI Film & Television Music; "3 Romances, Op. 28: No. 2 in F Sharp Major," written by Robert Schumann, performed by Peter Frankl, courtesy of Countdown Media.
SONGS
"Hang Me, Oh Hang Me," traditional, arranged by Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett, performed by Oscar Isaac; "Farewell, written and performed by Bob Dylan, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing; "Dink's Song," traditional, duet arranged by Marcus Mumford, T Bone Burnett and Oscar Isaac, performed by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford, solo version arranged by T Bone Burnett and Oscar Isaac, performed by Oscar Isaac; "The Last Thing On My Mind," written by Tom Paxton, performed by Stark Sands; "Please Please Mr. Kennedy," written by Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen, and Ethan Coen, performed by Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver; "Five Hundred Miles," written by Hedy West, performed by Stark Sands, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan; "Leaving The Cat," written and performed by Todd Kasow; "The Death of Queen Jane," traditional, arranged by T Bone Burnett and Oscar Isaac, performed by Oscar Isaac; "Green Green Rocky Road," written by Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman, performed by Oscar Isaac, end credit performance by Dave Van Ronk, courtesy of Tradition & Moderne GmbH; "Cocaine," written by Rev. Gary Davis, performed by Oscar Isaac; "Old MacDonald," traditional, arranged by Jesse Belvin, performed by Nolan Strong & The Diablos, courtesy of Fortune Records, by arrangement with Westwood Music Group; "The Old Triangle," written by Brendan Behan, performed by Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, Gabe Witcher, Marcus Mumford and Justin Timberlake; "The Shoals of Herring," written by Ewan MacColl, performed by Oscar Isaac; "The Storms Are On The Ocean," written by A.P. Carter, performed by Nancy Blake.
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 December 2013
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 6 Dec 2013
Production Date:
began 13 Feb 2012 in New York City
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Long Strange Trip LLC
12 November 2013
PA1868068
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby® Digital in selected theatres; Datasat Digital Sound in selected theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
47939
SYNOPSIS

In 1961 New York City, folk musician Llewyn Davis sings “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” to a receptive audience at the Gaslight Café. When club owner Pappi Corsicato tells Llewyn that a friend is waiting in the alley, the singer steps outside to be beaten in the face by a stranger. Llewyn spends the night on the couch of his friends, the Gorfeins, and is awakened by their orange tabby cat. After helping himself to breakfast, Llewyn finds “If We Had Wings,” an album he recorded with his former partner, Mike Timlin, who recently committed suicide. As Llewyn cues the record on the turntable and leaves the apartment, the Gorfein's cat escapes into the hallway, and the door locks behind them. Stuck with the cat, Llewyn travels by subway to the Greenwich Village home of his folk singer friends, Jim and Jean Berkey, and lets himself in through the fire escape. He leaves the cat and his belongings behind, then, desperate for money, meets his manager, Mel Novikoff. When Mel claims there are no royalties for Llewyn’s solo album, as audiences preferred his duo with Mike, the singer laments that he cannot afford a winter coat. Back at the Berkey’s apartment, Llewyn in confronted by Jean, who resents his imposition. As they bicker in front of Jean’s houseguest, soldier-folksinger Troy Nelson, she jots down a note and shoves it toward Llewyn, silently announcing she is pregnant. At the Gaslight that evening, Llewyn appeals to Jean’s husband, Jim, for a cash loan, claiming that he is responsible for yet another pregnancy, but refrains from mentioning the girl’s name. The ...

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In 1961 New York City, folk musician Llewyn Davis sings “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” to a receptive audience at the Gaslight Café. When club owner Pappi Corsicato tells Llewyn that a friend is waiting in the alley, the singer steps outside to be beaten in the face by a stranger. Llewyn spends the night on the couch of his friends, the Gorfeins, and is awakened by their orange tabby cat. After helping himself to breakfast, Llewyn finds “If We Had Wings,” an album he recorded with his former partner, Mike Timlin, who recently committed suicide. As Llewyn cues the record on the turntable and leaves the apartment, the Gorfein's cat escapes into the hallway, and the door locks behind them. Stuck with the cat, Llewyn travels by subway to the Greenwich Village home of his folk singer friends, Jim and Jean Berkey, and lets himself in through the fire escape. He leaves the cat and his belongings behind, then, desperate for money, meets his manager, Mel Novikoff. When Mel claims there are no royalties for Llewyn’s solo album, as audiences preferred his duo with Mike, the singer laments that he cannot afford a winter coat. Back at the Berkey’s apartment, Llewyn in confronted by Jean, who resents his imposition. As they bicker in front of Jean’s houseguest, soldier-folksinger Troy Nelson, she jots down a note and shoves it toward Llewyn, silently announcing she is pregnant. At the Gaslight that evening, Llewyn appeals to Jean’s husband, Jim, for a cash loan, claiming that he is responsible for yet another pregnancy, but refrains from mentioning the girl’s name. The following morning, Llewyn awakens on the Berkey’s floor to learn that Troy has a pending contract with manager Bud Grossman, who owns The Gate of Horn nightclub in Chicago, Illinois. As Troy leaves for Fort Dix, Llewyn cracks the window to smoke a cigarette, and the Gorfein’s cat escapes. Rushing outside, Llewyn makes a feeble and fruitless search for the cat, then returns to face Jean’s wrath. She reports that she wants a child with Jim, but she can’t be sure if the pregnancy is a result of her affair with Llewyn, and must therefore have an abortion. When Llewyn asks Jean to keep her apartment window open for the Gorfein’s cat, despite the cold, she is appalled that his concern for the animal surpasses his distress about her pregnancy. Unable to pay for the procedure, Llewyn unsuccessfully appeals to his sister, who instead offers him a box of his former belongings. He orders her to throw it away, then telephones Mitch Gorfein, promising to bring the cat back soon. Mitch informs Llewyn of work with Jim at a Columbia Records recording session and he races to the studio, only to unwittingly insult Jim’s composition, “Please, Mr. Kennedy.” Afterward, Llewyn discovers he will not be paid in full, or receive royalties, because his work is licensed by Mel Novikoff. Earning a little cash, but still homeless, Llewyn invites himself to sleep on the couch of fellow musician Al Cody, a Jewish local posing as a cowboy. Llewyn returns to collect his belongings from Jean, and she meets him at Café Reggio. There, he complains about her conservative, “careerist” values, and Jean declares Llewyn is skilled only at sabotaging himself. Just then, Llewyn catches sight of an orange tabby and races outside to retrieve the Gorfein’s wayward cat. He later schedules Jean’s abortion and learns that his former girl friend did not terminate her pregnancy after all. Troubled by the news, Llewyn returns the Gorfein’s cat, and Mitch insists he stay for dinner. When Llewyn grudgingly agrees to entertain guests with a rendition of “Dink’s Song,” Mitch’s wife, Lillian, sings along, replicating Mike’s harmonies. Enraged, Llewyn insults his hosts and Lillian runs away in tears, only to discover that Llewyn returned an imposter cat. Back on the street, with the orange tabby under his arm, Llewyn seeks shelter from the rain by hitching a ride to Chicago with Al’s dubious jazz musician friends, Johnny Five and Roland Turner. On the road, Roland disparages folk music and is unsurprised to learn that Mike jumped off the George Washington Bridge. At a diner restroom, Roland overdoses on an intravenously administered narcotic, and the men drag him back to the car. When they later rest on the side of a freeway, Johnny is arrested for intoxication and leaves the vehicle without keys. Llewyn abandons the cat with Roland and hitchhikes to Chicago. At The Gate of Horn nightclub, Llewyn gives Bud Grossman a copy of his solo album, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and the manager agrees to hear an audition. After a heartfelt version of “King Henry,” Grossman responds, “I don’t see a lot of money here.” Llewyn promptly declines Grossman’s offer to place him in a trio, and the manager advises him to reunite with his former partner, unaware that Mike is dead. Hitchhiking back to New York City, Llewyn drives through a snowdrift, and swerves to miss an orange cat. He sees blood on the car bumper, and an animal stumbling away, but continues his journey home. There, Llewyn secures work with the Merchant Marine after paying back union dues with his remaining cash. After entertaining his aged, incontinent father with a rendition of “Shoals Of Herring,” Llewyn returns to his sister’s house to pick up his Master Pilot license, a requirement for his new job, but she replies that she threw it away with his box, as he requested. Llewyn returns to Jean, begging her to store his belongings. Taking pity, Jean reports that she has secured Llewyn a slot at the Gaslight, but he complains the earnings will be inconsequential, and his declaration of love for Jean is transparent. Later, Llewyn learns he must pay $85 to replace his license, and unsuccessfully demands reimbursement for his union dues. Llewyn returns to the Gaslight penniless, and owner Pappi Corsicato admits that Jean had sex with him to book her act. In response, Llewyn drunkenly heckles an elderly, zither-strumming performer named Elizabeth Hobby, implying that she slept with Pappi, too. Llewyn is forcibly removed from the venue as he declares his hatred of folk music. With nowhere left to go, Llewyn appeals to the Gorfeins and is welcomed inside. He discovers their cat returned home, and his name is Ulysses. Back at the Gaslight, the following evening, Llewyn performs “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” and “Dink’s Song.” Forgiving Llewyn for his previous transgression, Pappi tells the singer he has a “friend” waiting in the alley. As Bob Dylan takes the stage to perform “Farewell,” Llewyn walks outside and is assaulted by Elizabeth Hobby’s husband, who demands, “What you do?” The man speeds away in the back of a taxicab, and Llewyn wishes him “au revoir.”

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.