Friday, November 23, 2007

See This...

The much buzzed about I'm Not There opened this week in San Diego. You know the one...where 6 different actors, including Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger and Christian Bale, play Bob Dylan at different stages in his life. Or at least that's what I thought it was about. And it kinda is, but not really, does that make sense? I'm Not There is like Dylan's music: beautiful, poetic and all over the place.

The film begins with Dylan as a young, black child called Woody Guthrie (an homage to Dylan's biggest musical hero) who travels in box cars and tells fantastic tales of life during the Great Depression. From there, we see Dylan as the shy young troubadour who becomes the talk of NYC's Greenwich Village. Next is Robbie, an actor who plays the Dylan character as his marriage falls apart (that makes sense, right?). There's also Dylan as Billy the Kid and Dylan being interviewed (and being difficult for the press) as he was in D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back and the Dylan who broke the heart of folk music lovers everywhere when he plugged in an amplifier and "went electric" (one of the most fascinating moments in music history).

The performances are fantastic, but Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin and Bruce Greenwood are the standouts. Blanchett is uncanny in her Dylan-ness (Amazing that it takes a woman to really capture the man). Her early Oscar buzz is truly deserved. Marcus Carl Franklin is charming as the young, traveling Dylan. His singing voice (one of the few actors who actually sing) is really fantastic. And Bruce Greenwood (redeeming himself from John from Cincinnati) plays the villain...and plays it very well.

I imagine the movie would be difficult if you don't know anything about Dylan, so I suggest renting No Direction Home and Don't Look Back first...and you should have some time, because until the film racks up some Oscar nominations (and it will) it may not be coming to a theater near you (unless you live in a major American city), but when it does, be sure to check it out. It's unlike anything you've seen...and that's always a good thing.

4 comments:

Carey said...

Oh god, John of Cincinnati was truly awful, wasn't it? I remember looking forward to it. I somehow forced my way through the first couple of episodes before admitting defeat and gladly cancelling all future recordings. Suckage extraordinaire.

P.S. I really like your blog and I don't make it here often enough. I'm going to rectify this.

Carey said...

P.P.S. That whole "I don't make it here often enough" you can partially blame yourself for. I had a helluva lot more free time before you pointed me to Jason Mulgrew's "Everything Is Wrong With Me" blog.

I've now made it to September 2005, after deciding to start at the very beginning of his archives. That guy is beyond funny.

Red said...

I pretty much want to marry Jason Mulgrew and I think that explains a lot about what's wrong with me.

I watched the entire season of John from Cincinnati hoping it would somehow become great and make sense. It, unfortunately, did not, and I was really pissed.

carey said...

I pretty much want to marry him, also, which I am also concerned about.

It's a bad, bad obsession.