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Inside Llewyn Davis

Image credit: Inside Llewyn Davis, 2013

I’ve never been much of a “cat person”, but Inside Llewyn Davis (Disc/Download) has definitely made me a “folk singer with a cat” person. If you look at my record collection, you’ll see a lot of 1960s folk/singer/songwriter albums, but leave it to the Coen Brothers to make me fall in love with my favorite music genre all over again. I guess that’s the thing about folk music, as they say. It was never new, and it never gets old.

When we talk about unsympathetic characters in movies and fiction, we may as well have a poster of Llewyn Davis hanging up as an example. This incredibly talented, perpetually broke singer bums couches and meals from his gullible friends, impregnates a married woman (though, to be fair, it does take two to tango, Jean), and insults his fellow Gaslight performers with no regard to the frequently sensitive nature of artists.  In short, he’s an ass. And yet, his talent makes him someone you still want to root for. Surely, if the whole world could just hear him sing “Fare Thee Well”, he’d finally get the recognition he deserves, get his life together, and become a more thoughtful person. But since the movie itself is like a folk song, we see him make the same mistakes over and over, caught in a loop of reacting (badly) to crisis after crisis.

Perhaps Llewyn’s biggest mistake made is letting a pet cat escape from the apartment where he’s been crashing. He’s then forced to carry it around New York City, in the dead of winter, and we all know how cats just love to be toted like a handbag. While watching Inside Llewyn Davis, toast his feline friend with this Tomcat cocktail. Working with an animal may have been misery for the filmmakers, but it was magic for us.


2 oz Old Tom Gin

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

2 dashes Orange Bitters

Luxardo Maraschino cherry

Orange Twist

Combine gin, vermouth, and bitters in a shaker with ice. Stir to combine and chill, then strain into a glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a cherry and orange twist.

Oscar Isaac carries this movie so well, but let’s not forget about the stellar supporting cast. Adam Driver makes a fun appearance as one third of a trio singing a gimmicky song about astronauts, and even Justin Timberlake does a great rendition of “Five Hundred Miles” with Carey Mulligan. As ever, the Coen Brothers have created a world that’s very specific, and at the same time universal– much like the music they so lovingly celebrate. Cheers!

The Social Network

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social network

Image credit: The Social Network, 2010

As part of my New Year’s resolution this year, I decided to stop procrastinating and actually start (and maintain) a Cinema Sips Twitter page. Something I said I’d NEVER do, but Facebook’s commercialization and subsequent ransoming of business pages has forced my hand. Plus, Twitter has jokes. Lots of jokes. Being the newly tech savvy person that I am, I got to thinking of those halcyon early days of Facebook. Back when it was like a secret club, invite only, with nary an ad in sight. If you weren’t between the ages of 18-25 in 2004, and don’t believe me, just check out this week’s film, The Social Network (DVD/Download).

Fun fact: Mark Zuckerberg and I went to college at the same time, and we’re nearly the same age. Except he’s, well, Mark Zuckerberg and I’m just some girl writing this little blog and spending too much money at the liquor store. While he was writing code and inventing Facebook, I was sitting in a dorm room watching Christopher Guest films on repeat. I find The Social Network to be mildly depressing, in an “oh my God, I’ve done NOTHING with my life” kind of way, but I also consider it to be an exhilarating, entertaining film about the early days of a huge digital revolution. Jesse Eisenberg’s cold villain performance is quite skilled, and I particularly love Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker. And the Winklevoss twins! I totally think there should be a remake of Rope starring Armie Hammer and Armie Hammer as the Leopold and Loeb characters. How creepy would that be?

Apparently these Silicon Valley bigwigs like their girly drinks. Far too many appletinis get consumed in the road to Facebook world domination. Thus while watching The Social Network, I recommend drinking a classic millennial cocktail, the Appletini. Normally I’d never advocate for a pre-made mix, but A) it’s pretty tasty, and B) I’m too busy on Twitter to deal with anything else this week.


2 parts Stirrings Appletini mix

1 part vodka

Maraschino cherry (for garnish)

Combine appletini mix together with vodka in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass with a maraschino cherry at the bottom.


Everyone likes to talk about how Facebook has gone downhill, and in a lot of ways it has. I hate the ads, and the sponsored posts, and having to see what all of my friends are “liking” and commenting on at any given moment. For the most part, I just don’t care. But I admit, Facebook has made the world a pretty great place to be. Now I can connect with friends that I would have lost touch with ages ago had I been dependent on just a phone or email address. Sure, I’ve got some geriatric relatives trolling my posts, but you take the bad with the good. And if you’re a fan of the Cinema Sips Facebook page, you’ve got a place to interact with other like-minded movie and cocktail aficionados. So go ahead- Facebook me. Cheers!