Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis': TV Review
Showtime's documentary captures the highlights of the star-studded concert of music inspired by the Coen Brothers' film.
Its awkward title notwithstanding, Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of "Inside Llewyn Davis" does an admirable job of giving the viewer the feeling of what it was like to have been at September's star-studded concert at New York City's Town Hall. Christopher Wilcha's documentary effectively combines well-chosen performance footage from the three-hour show with enough fly-on-the-wall rehearsal peeks to provide an intriguing insider's view. It also happens to serve as an excellent promo for the current theatrical release of the highly acclaimed Coen Brothers' movie celebrating the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960's.
Those who attended the concert may wonder at some of the omissions, such as John Goodman's amusingly droll introductions and Elvis Costello's hilarious rendition of the novelty song "Please Mr. Kennedy" with the film's stars Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver. Providing some compensation is the inclusion of some of its lesser known performers, such as Lake Street Drive, whose swinging "You Go Down Smooth" was one of the evening's highlights.
But there's plenty here to savor, including Punch Brothers' smooth harmonizing on "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"; Jack White's country-flavored version of the White Stripes' "We're Going to Be Friends"; Patti Smith's soulful "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You"; Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings' impassioned "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"; and Marcus Mumford's stirring rendition of Bob Dylan's "Farewell," among others.
The requisite rehearsal footage features the ever hovering presence of the concert's producer T Bone Burnett and Joel and Ethan Coen, with the atmosphere proving clearly convivial. Mumford, showcased in several brief interview segments, comments that "there's no assholes around" and that "there was no ego in the room." More amusingly, Isaac admits that "tonight I'm shitting a brick" regarding the prospect of performing his songs live onstage. The sheer volume of the musicians taking part in the show is reflected by footage of many of them rehearsing their numbers in hallways and staircases.
While the film might have gained some depth with the inclusion of historical footage from the musical era that served as its inspiration, it nonetheless deftly captures the highlights of one of the year's finest concerts.
Airs Friday, Dec. 13 (Showtime)
Director: Christopher Wilcha
Producers: T Bone Burnett, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin, Jason Colton
Director of photography: Adam Beckman
Not rated, 101 min.