Sunday, May 18, 2008

I’m Not There: Grade C

I’m Not There (2007)
Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Leger, Co-writer and director: Todd Haynes.

Multiple actors portray episodes in the life of male folk-singers in the 1960’s. The characters are all quite different, and none of them is named Bob Dylan. Yet we are made to understand that they all represent Bob Dylan at various times in his life. Several Dylan classics are played along with other period music. This picaresque approach to a Dylan biography is creative but interesting only if you are well-informed about his life, which I am not. I loved the iconic early protest classics and I really liked Nashville Skyline in the 70’s. That is the full extent of my Bob Dylan knowledge, so this movie, presumably packed with meaningful allusion, was mostly lost on me. The sequence in which Cate Blanchett plays Dylan is well worth seeing. They could have done the whole movie around her amazing performance. Unfortunately, it is just one segment among many dull, badly acted, badly directed, witless, pointless scenarios.

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