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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-I’m Not There

Woody, played by Marcus Carl Franklin, is a prodigy who plays at carnivals and in peoples homes for his next meal in Im Not There, a film that concerns the elusive Bob Dylan.  Photo courtesy Weinstein Films
Woody, played by Marcus Carl Franklin, is a prodigy who plays at carnivals and in people’s homes for his next meal in I’m Not There, a film that concerns the elusive Bob Dylan. Photo courtesy Weinstein Films

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

Woody, played by Marcus Carl Franklin, is a prodigy who plays at carnivals and in people's homes for his next meal in I'm Not There, a film that concerns the elusive Bob Dylan.  Photo courtesy Weinstein Films
Woody, played by Marcus Carl Franklin, is a prodigy who plays at carnivals and in people’s homes for his next meal in I’m Not There, a film that concerns the elusive Bob Dylan. Photo courtesy Weinstein Films

I’m Not There, a stylized biopic of a man’s many personas, plays like a Bob Dylan song. It is off the beaten path, slightly incoherent and oddly compelling.

The film centers around six different facets of the elusive Dylan: Robbie, the actor; Jack/John, the protest singer turned priest; Woody, the vagabond kid; Arthur, the poet; Billy, the recluse, and Jude, the Dylan doppelganger.

All of them have something to say, and director Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine) pieces their lives together like a dark, quirky mosaic.

On the surface, the movie almost doesn’t make any sense. The timelines are never clearly defined and the audience can’t trust who’s who or the sequence of events.

The movie isn’t really a biopic of the man but rather a biopic of the man’s mind.

Jack/John’s (The Machinist’s Christian Bale) story is told in documentary style with Alice Fabian (Children of Men’s Julianne Moore) doing most of the story telling. He was a famous protest singer with even his own biopic in which Robbie plays Jack.

After awhile Jack disappears from the scene, finds religion and becomes John, a pastor at the Vineyard Fellow-ship.

Robbie (Candy’s Heath Ledger) is the actor dealing with his relationship with Claire (Science of Sleep’s Charlotte Gainsbourg).

Woody (Marcus Carl Franklin) is a misfit prodigy, playing at carnivals and people’s homes for his next meal and in one of his endeavors runs across Billy (Pretty Woman’s Richard Gere) in a carnie town.

Arthur (Perfume’s Ben Whishaw) is being interrogated for the reason why he stopped writing protest music. He just answers in lyrical nonsense and wisdom in gritty black and white.

Jude (The Aviator’s Cate Blanchett) is the only character with a concrete bracket of time and the only one that looks and sounds like Dylan. His persona lives, in black and white, on Dylan’s 1965 drug-hazed tour.

Blanchett embodies Dylan down to the wild hair and the polka-dotted shirt.

Jude wins as the best fracture of Dylan, and Blanchett has the performance worthy of another little gold man.

She, along with Franklin, has already scrapped up one nomination (IFC Independent Spirit Award) for her portrayal.

The best segments are Jude’s, Woody’s and Robbie’s. The others are almost space fillers for these.

The movie is simply bizarre but pleasant enough for the audience to enjoy the ride.

Mainstream moviegoers probably won’t enjoy the film’s complexity or its art house aura. But for anyone owning Highway 61 Revisited or looking for something completely in right field, I’m Not There is definitely worth checking out.

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