As ever, December is one of the biggest months of the year for the Oscar-primed films, and it goes without saying that the majority of this month’s must-see movies are amongst those likely to make an appearance come January’s nominations announcement. (The sheer number is the reason for extending the usual top 10 list to a top 15). But every year brings a number of great counterprogramming choices, and this year is no different, with Ron Burgundy and co. making their long-awaited return later this month.
So with all that in mind, here’s a run-down of the fifteen films you really must see this month, kicking things off very nicely with an instant classic.
Inside Llewyn Davis – December 6th (US limited), December 20th (US wide), 24th January (UK)
In a surprise to absolutely no one, the Coen brothers’ return is one of the finest films of the year, and Inside Llewyn Davis easily earns itself a place as one of our top 10 must-see movies of the month.
Oscar Isaac stars as the eponymous Llewyn Davis, a young folksinger with whom we spend a week in his shoes. In that week, he travels from the legendary clubs of Greenwich Village to Chicago in search of new management; he reluctantly befriends a friend’s cat, going in search of it after losing it in his care; confront the consequences of his relationships; and perform some of the best music you’ll hear in film in a long time.
It’s a crying shame that the music’s basis in traditional folk songs will rule it ineligible for both Best Original Score and Best Original Song – Isaac and Marcus Mumford’s Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) is by far the best musical number I’ve heard all year, by a long shot.
Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, and more put in terrific performances, but really it’s Oscar Isaac who deserves the credit on that front. With a bit of luck, he’ll be earning the Best Actor nomination he deserves come January, along with the Coen brothers for yet another brilliant piece of cinema.