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Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm Not There (2007)

As if examining a diamond, director Todd Haynes takes the myth of Bob Dylan, the artist and the man, and looks at different facets of the legend. Six different actors play six different aspects and phases of Dylan's life. Dylan is never referenced, all six characters have different names. What we get is a fascinating puzzle that we piece together as the film (which is non linear and the six stories are intercut) unfolds. We get Dylan the child, Dylan the husband, Dylan the born again Christian, Dylan the outlaw, Dylan the iconoclast but the kicker is that Dylan remains as much of an enigma at the film's end that he was at the beginning. But perhaps most importantly, what we also have is Dylan the musician and those glorious songs which overshadow everything else. The six actors portraying Dylan are Cate Blanchett (who justifiably received an Oscar nomination for her work here), Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Ben Whishaw and Carl Marcus Franklin. I suspect if you're not an admirer of Dylan's work, the film might be tough going though. With Julianne Moore (the Joan Baez stand in), Michelle Williams, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Friedman, Don Francks and narration by Kris Kristofferson.

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