Apparently one can also watch movies while lying on the couch whinging about one's sciatica.
I'd been eager to see Inside Llewyn Davis ever since I heard it was being made, but it took me this long to get around to it. I did buy the CD (yes, I still buy actual CDs) and have been listening to it in the car quite a bit.
Oscar Isaac stars as an early-1960s-era folk musician (by all accounts, modeled after Dave Van Ronk musically, though not in character) trying to make it big in New York City and beyond. He's a terrific musician and singer, but he's a real bastard and seems intent on sabotaging his own happiness and success at every turn. You just want to grab him by the shoulders and shake him.
It's a typical Coen brothers movie in most ways—you got your loser title character, your got your hopelessness and despair at the meaning of life, you got your surreal interlude with John Goodman, you got your great music. (Oh, and this time you also got your Justin Timberlake, who never fails to impress me with his performance, and the risks he'll take—here he's a dorky nice-guy singer.) Nothing much happens, and that's the point.
If you're a fan of old folky music (as Davis says at the start of every set, "If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song."), you'll definitely want to see this, and get the soundtrack, which also includes songs that are not in the movie—an old Dylan (unreleased studio version of "Farewell"), a Van Ronk, a new duet with Marcus Mumford, etc.
From the sublime to the ridiculous: At the Newseum in DC, there was a mostly silly exhibit about "Anchorman 2." I'm not a Will Ferrell fan; I think he's a one-trick pony and I don't love that one trick. Sure, I laughed at his part in "Wedding Crashers," but that's about it. (I'm aware that I am so much in the minority that I may be the only one here.) So it turned out that only Andy and Pete had ever seen the original "Anchorman," so we all watched it. Yes, it's funny. Yes, I could've lived without watching it.