Movie Reviews

Film Review: “I’m Not There”

(The Weinstein Company. Opened in Houston Nov. 21. Rated R. 135 minutes. Directed by Todd Haynes.) Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bruce Greenwood, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams. Music by Bob Dylan.

Experimental film from Haynes (Far From Heaven, Velvet Goldmine), inspired by (and with permission from) the life of folk hero Dylan. Most notable in that six different actors – including a woman (Blanchett) and a young African-American boy (Franklin) – portray the singer/songwriter at various life stages, moods, inspirations, perceptions. Also starring as Dylan: Bale, Gere, Ledger, and Whishaw (the young British actor who was the star of last year’s far-more-intriguing Perfume: the Story of a Murderer). Soundtrack includes original recordings as well as covers. Dylan-heads will get the numerous references (to the famous Newport and London concerts; Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid; the press conference, etc.) and most others will just be scratching their heads, thanks to the lack of narrative or main point. There’s no denying Dylan’s fantastic songbook, though. Perhaps the whole thing would come off better accompanied by the mood-altering substance of your choice, with the soundtrack cranked way up. Now, that’s the 60s.