The Coen brothers new film is fine achievement despite the fact it has been snubbed by the Oscars

After an excursion to the Wild West with their remake of True Grit, the Coen brothers are now back on familiar territory. They might not have made a movie about the New York folk scene of the early 1960s before but, thanks to its wry comedy, offbeat characters and philosophical underpinning, Inside Llewyn Davis feels very much like classic Coen brothers.

Inspired in part by a book, The Mayor of MacDougall Street by the influential, little-known folk artist Dave van Ronk, the film follows a few days of the life of the titular character, a musician attempting to succeed as a solo artist after the death of his bandmate.

We see Llewyn, who is played with deadpan panache by Oscar Isaac, taking to the stage at the Gaslight Cafe, getting into fights (both physical and verbal) and hawking around for places to stay. Further plot machinations involve him trying to deal with the news that he may have impregnated his feisty friend Jean (Carey Mulligan) and heading out on a road trip to Chicago for an audition.