After the death of his partner, a folk singer (Oscar Isaac) struggles going solo in the 1961 Greenwich Village folk scene. You got to hand it to the Coen Brothers, they're always giving you the fresh and unexpected. In possibly their best movie since FARGO, the Coens could have named their film PORTRAIT OF A LOSER. Isaac's Llewyn Davis can't get a break if his life depended on it but then again, he's not exactly a likable person and his talent is adequate, nothing more. He's one of those ordinary people trying to make a mark in the world without any extraordinary qualities to get them there. The Coens won't pander to its audience and when you sit back and expect the cliche to happen, they go right past it. While it might seem that they're in a sour mood, the film slowly creeps up on you until it's got you hook, line and sinker. The performances are uniformly good especially John Goodman as a burnt out jazz musician and Carey Mulligan as a pissed off one night stand but it's Isaac's performance that is the glue that holds the picture together. Bruno Delbonnel's cinematography is so precise that you'd swear the film was shot in B&W even though it's in color. With Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, Jeanine Serralles and a cat called Ulysses that gives the most winning animal performance since Uggie in THE ARTIST.