After initially being something of a question mark on the schedule (remember when IMDb rather unconvincingly asserted that it was being released in February?), the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” now seems to be falling into the prestige groove we expect for the directors’ work these days. A high-profile premiere in Competition at Cannes is just around the corner, while last week, an awards-friendly release date of December 6 was announced for the period folk-music drama. CBS Films may not be terribly experienced in this game, but they sure are aware that three of the brothers’ last four films nabbed Best Picture nominations.
To whet our appetite for the film, and handful of new stills from it have hit the web, and very handsome they are too. A couple of them we’ve seen before in monochrome, but they really pop with the addition of color. In a different but comparable way to their last 1960s-set piece, “A Serious Man,” the Coens appear to be using a rich but selective palette to evoke the fashions and aesthetics of the era: here, the autumnal hues and natural textures popular in Greenwich Village bohemia (and glimpsed in a certain phase of “Mad Men”) are the order of the day. Orange-and-teal has never looked so retro-chic.
The creator of these images, it’s worth noting, is not Roger Deakins: the Coens’ favorite cinematographer (he’s shot 11 of their films, earning Oscar nods for five of them) wasn’t available this time round. Instead, it’s Frenchman Bruno Delbonnel doing the honors, and he’s hardly a secondary replacement. (When Deakins isn’t around, nothing but the best will do for the brothers: “Burn After Reading” was shot by an understretched Emmanuel Lubezki.) Oscar-nominated for “Amelie,” “A Very Long Engagement” and — in something of a surprise — “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” he’s well known for his stylized use of color, often to romantic or nostalgic effect; everything we’ve seen of the film is clearly his work.
Check out the new images below.