Inside Llewyn Davis
What Could Have Been: The latest from the Coen Brothers has been earning rave reviews. Critics are in love with the film, and they’re fans of lead actor Oscar Isaac’s performance. As such, it was assumed the film would have an outside chance at a Best Ensemble hat tip, an outside chance at a supporting actress nomination for Carey Mulligan and a fairly decent chance at a lead actor nomination for Isaac. None of those things happened. The film was shut out of all major categories, and now, fans are left to wonder whether the same thing will happen at the Academy Awards.

Why: The Coen Brothers are brilliant directors. They’re among the best working in Hollywood today, but they’re not necessarily actors’ directors. By that, I don’t mean they’re difficult assholes. I mean they tend to choose the larger movie over individual performances. They’re not the type who write parts that let actors have big showy moments that might play well on a highlight reel. They choose the pace of the film every time and are unwilling to linger with the camera to capture moments that either aren’t deserved or slow down the overall momentum. As such, sometimes brilliance can go unrecognized because it’s a little more subtle.

The Bottom Line: Inside Llewyn Davis’ best shot at Oscar glory was always going to come in the Best Director and Best Picture categories. This doesn’t help, but it doesn’t doom the film either.

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