After a disastrous gig at the Gaslight Cafe and a scolding from his old friend Jean (Carey Mulligan), Llewyn’s life takes a turn for the worse when he is left with an infant on his doorstep and no answers as to who left it there or why.
With no choice but to take care of the baby and make ends meet, Llewyn sets off on a journey of discovery and self-discovery. Along the way, he meets some colorful characters, including a curmudgeonly club manager, Roland Turner (John Goodman) and a sharp-tongued jazz singer, Jim (Justin Timberlake). He also shares the stage with his friend, the talented singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan (Adam Driver).
Despite the numerous people who Llewyn meets on this odyssey, the real hero of this story is the journey itself. Llewyn repeatedly confronts new challenges, learns lessons, and eventually finds redemption in an unexpected place. Through his interactions with other musicians, his struggles to make a living and provide for himself, and his quest to reunite the baby with its mother, Llewyn confronts his inner demons and discovers a strength he never knew he had.
The film captures the vibrant energy of the 1960s Greenwich Village scene, but it also conveys the isolation and loneliness of being an individual struggling to make something of himself. As Llewyn moves from place to place, he learns more about himself and discovers that at the heart of it all, he is just a human being trying to make sense of the world. In the end, this story is about hope, resilience and finding a way to live in a world that can sometimes feel overwhelming and unforgiving.
EXT. PARK STREET – DAY
The street is a hive of activity with vendors selling fruits from their carts, and people buying goods from local shops. Two elderly men sit on a bench in front of the street.
Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) walks out of one of the shops and stops, admiring the bustling street.
He continues, heading for a small music shop nearby.
INT. MUSIC STORE – DAY
The store is filled with instruments and other music equipment. Llewyn Davis stands in the center of the store, admiring all the equipment around him.
He picks up a guitar and starts playing a little.
I’ve worn many hats,
And seen many places,
But whatever I find,
It’s just the same old thing…
Suddenly, a gruff voice interrupts him.
Hey! What do ya think ya doin’?
Llewyn looks around and notices an old man.
Ya can’t just come in here and start playin’!
I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I was just—
Ya didn’t know? Ain’t no excuse for that.
I said I was sorry. I’ll pay for the guitar.
The old man looks at him suspiciously.
Fine. How much ya got?
Llewyn reaches into his pocket and takes out a few dollars.
I can pay you this much.
The old man takes the money and hands him the guitar.
Just don’t come back.
Llewyn takes the guitar and smiles. He exits the store, the old man watching him leave.
EXT. STREET – DAY
Llewyn exits the store and heads for the park. He stops and looks up at the sky.
Maybe this will be the start of something new…
He continues walking, strumming his guitar.
EXT. PARK – DAY
Llewyn stands at the center of the park, playing his guitar. He plays a few chords as some people pass by and watch him.
Suddenly, a man walks up to him.
Hey, that’s pretty good. What’s your name?
Llewyn stops playing and looks at the man.
The man smiles.
Nice to meet you, Llewyn. My name’s Troy. I’m a music producer here in the Village.
Llewyn looks at him suspiciously.
What do you want?
I heard you playing and I think you’ve got potential. I can help you get your name out there.
Llewyn looks away, still skeptical.
I don’t know…
Troy steps closer and puts a hand on his shoulder.
Just give me a chance. You won’t regret it.
Llewyn sighs and looks into Troy’s eyes.
Okay. Let’s do it.
Troy smiles and nods.
Good. Come by my studio tomorrow and we’ll get started.
I’ll be there.
The two men shake hands, and Llewyn watches as Troy exits the park.
Llewyn looks up at the sky and smiles.
Maybe this will be my big break.