Thursday, January 28, 2016

Inside Oscar Isaac

The Death of Queen Jane

Last night I watched Inside Llewlyn Davis. Made in 2013 by the Coen brothers, it stars the truly unbelievable Oscar Isaac. This guy can seriously act and he is stunningly photogenic. Plus, he gets to play an interesting complex character.

This is a film that follows a formula I love: A story with few players that unfolds chronologically and occurs in a relatively short period of time. And, little happens of consequence. There are no big moments; it is simply a glimpse of life. I loved it.

I watched this whole movie, set in the Greenwich Village heydays of the 1960s with nostalgic eyes. I lived through the folk music era and loved many of its practitioners and this film very effectively captures the time and the music. It is a very musical film.

There are two particularly powerful and moving musical scenes. In one, Llewelyn sings The Death of Queen Jane at an audition that goes nowhere. It is, Isaacs is, absolutely perfection; you totally believe it is Isaacs singing. And when he sings Shoals of Herring for his disappearing father, the world stops.

Isaccs is in nearly every scene. It is a tour-de-force performance so I watched the credits with interest to see what I could learn. I was gob smacked; Oscar Isaacs not only did the singing, he plays the guitar and he did a lot of the arranging. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

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