The time: 1961; the setting: smoky, folky bar in New York City. The player: Llewyn Davis, a folk singer with a penchant toward being irresponsible, arrogant and needy. Think of the recent title character of "Francis Ha," and you have Llewyn Davis only 50 years ago and with a guitar.
What filmmakers have never understood is that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is not about the parties. Their hands get all sweaty at the idea of filming those grand, balloon-filled ballrooms. The Great Gatsby is a classic because it’s not just a backdrop brought forward, not just about showering shirts down from a magnificent closet.
In Drive Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn proves his skill at maximizing suspense and jump-starting adrenalin. Drive stars Ryan Gosling as a movie stunt driver and auto mechanic by day and a getaway driver by night. Despite its Danish pedigree, Drive is a very "Hollywood" film, in other words, terrific car chases and robberies punctuate gut-wrenching violence.