One of the standout films in the main competition here in Cannes has to be the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis. God kills a kitten every time a hipster calls it “minor Coen brothers.” It wasn’t that long ago when no one thought The Big Lebowski was even very good, let along the comic masterpiece that it became. The Coens’ films demand constant re-evaluation. Declaring anything definitively negative about Llewyn Davis right now is a fool’s game. But go right on ahead if that is your inclination. Make sure it’s written in ink somewhere. For all time.
The studio invited press to come to the Carlton hotel — one of the luxury hotels facing the glittering sea this side of the Croisette. A roundtable junket style meet-and-greet, as a way for journalists to better get to know, I’d guess, the film’s rising star, Oscar Isaac. How else are you going to get journalists to write about him than to promise them free food and drink and a chance to sit fairly closely to the elusive and always in demand Coens.
The first thing that happened to me upon entering the Carlton hotel was to notice how awful I looked. My flat doesn’t come with a hair dryer, and I’d forgotten to bring mine. Even if I had brought mine I felt sure it would have blown out the french outlet like it did last year. I could have bought one here but I never thought I’d need it. Looking at what my mother would call a “rat’s nest” that managed to simultaneously hang flatly on top and straggle at the bottom I was suddenly horrified. “I can’t go in there,” I said to Craig Kennedy who was also along for the junket. “Is there anything I can say to make you feel better?” “No, no. There isn’t.”
Oh what the hell, I thought, I’ll just sit in the back. Believe me, if it were only the hair I think I could have managed that but by the time I sat down I was thinking — I am a walking fashion, hair and makeup disaster. I never should go out in the light of day, much less to hobnob at the Carlton hotel in Cannes. But I was there to do a job, of course, to help promote the film Inside Llewyn Davis, which is like asking me to help promote the French croissant. Not the hardest job in the world.