Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
I'm Not There.
Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work.
Cloud Atlas: Bob Dylan Edition
I'm Not There sounds like an interesting concept on paper.
Six different actors playing different versions of Bob Dylan, one of them an African American child and another a woman. (Due to Dylan being a white male).
And it starts off pretty well.
Marcus Carl Franklin acted really well, especially for a 14 year old (at the time).
But the more the film went on, it got a lot more confusing and weird.
I really don't mind films being complex. Some films especially take time, even after the ending, to make sense.
But sadly, I'm Not There. simply is all over the place.
There is nothing really connecting all the different versions.
I understood that they represent different times in…
I never realized Bob Dylan was 1/6th female
Todd Haynes' gift is not that he's a maniacally detailed biographer — he is, but that's not his gift. No, what's really a treasure here is the way Haynes can fully accept and celebrate the mythology surrounding a public figure, whether it's self-made or not, while still teasing out the points of connection between that mythology and "real life". Not only that, he takes considerable risks as a filmmaker in order to depict those nexus points in meaningful and interesting ways, coming right out the gate with the simple but devastating decision to shoot Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story with Barbie dolls. Velvet Goldmine is a very good film, but because David Bowie refused to let his music or name…
I'll admit, I'm not the biggest Bob Dylan fan on the planet. Don't get me wrong, I love his music, but I'm not one of those hardcore devotees who know everything there is to know about the man. I was kinda hoping that this film would make me a bigger fan while also giving me new insight into the man behind the music. I was wrong.
It's not a bad film. It's just a film that would appeal more to die hard fans of the music. Like a thank you to all of Bob Dylan's long time devotees while also paying tribute to Dylan. Anyone who doesn't already understand his life or ay least who Dylan was will probably get…
I love how Todd Haynes knows that Bringing It All Back Home/Don't Look Back-era Dylan is the one we're waiting to see, particularly as played by Cate Blanchett, so he saves that one until almost an hour into the movie, letting us sink into the earlier and subtler representations of Dylan first. That said, Blanchett's Dylan is the most entertaining part of the movie, and it kicks into high gear as soon as she makes her entrance. The other chapters are more challenging - honestly, while the one featuring Richard Gere as Billy the Kid in a semiotic fantasyland is certainly haunting, I still can't decipher it after four or five viewings. They're rewarding, though, however much you know (or…
Or case #45 of an interesting idea poorly executed. Which is surprising, considering it's Todd Haynes who directed it.
I just like Bob Dylan.
I haven't watched it in a few years but I remember not being thrilled. I'm gonna try it again though.
Film #13 of the November 2015 Scavenger Hunt Challenge
Task #5: A biopic film!
Film #9 of my 5 directors x 5 unseen films challenge
Todd Haynes's high concept anti-biopic is, if nothing else, impeccably crafted and completely unique. As with his cult classic short Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Haynes plays with - and often defies - traditional biopic conventions and structure. I'm not sure if knowing more about Bob Dylan's personal life and personas would enrich my viewing experience; it would undoubtedly augment and better contextualize each "character", but this seems to me a film better felt than made sense of. In a stoke of casting genius, Cate Blanchett easily steals the show playing a role simultaneously so against type and so absolutely perfect for her. It's also a treat to see Charlotte Gainsbourg act outside her usual Lars von Trier -y roles... she deserves way better roles and way more acclaim.
I'm Not There operates on an intriguing premise and is filmed beautifully, but this is ultimately Haynes at his most unrestrained and excessive, a mode I really don't prefer. The idea to have six different actors portray different aspects of Dylan's persona and to communicate the universality of his music is daring, and several of the performances this format yields are excellent (Blanchett, Franklin, and Whishaw particularly), but the constant hopping from story to story never coalesces in a way that feels all that compelling (it's not meant to, but the effect isn't what was intended); intellectually brilliant, but dramatically inert. Haynes creates the worlds of the different Dylans impeccably, but I was never truly grabbed by those gorgeous visuals…
Wrote a bit about this for Brooklyn Magazine , some additional thoughts.
At its best, I'm Not There does reject all biopic conventions and take the inability to demystify a person as a starting point. Bob Dylan is channeled into six different people, Rimbaud becomes a tying thread, and the intrusion of Woody Guthrie into the Billy The Kid story is as absurdist as the lyrics of "Ballad of A Thin Man" (I refer here to the sudden discovery that Guthrie is an outlaw, not the literal appearance of Guthrie in Billy The Kid's section later). Also, the civil rights consciousness of early Dylan (Christian Bale) comes to the fore in Billy's life near the end in a way that…
(Original review outdated, re-evaluation required at later date)
In my vast LACK of knowledge about Bob Dylan's music and his life, I probably didn't understand 90% of what this movie was trying to say. It felt very much like a movie that was directed with a very certain and specific vision from Todd Haynes. The acting was obviously all flawless and I was floored by Cate Blanchett (but that goes without saying). But the most memorable discovery was Ben Whishaw and how much he resembled Bob Dylan and his voice and general demeanor. Definitely another actor that I would love to keep looking out for in the future. Can't wait to see what Haynes has in store down the road.
Todd Haynes’ cryptic I’m Not There. depicts Bob Dylan’s different perspectives of his public persona through nonlinear storyline and abstract execution. Haynes’ keen understanding of Dylan’s extraordinary life is much appreciated, however, translating it into cinematic terms through the use of abstraction is somewhat detached and obscure. In the end, I’m not sure whether I’m getting what Haynes’ is trying to say, or at least I’m not sure whether I’m still there…
The film connects six different personas of Bob Dylan’s career who are all played by six different actors—led by the great Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, and Heath Ledger. Thematically inspired and audacious, Haynes beautifully presents both larger-than-life image of this music icon as well as his grounded persona…
A not always successful rendition of Bob's life, but an entertaining one that captures many different aspects of him. In the end, I have a well rounded (reaffirmed) picture of him, but I didn't learn a lot. I would have preferred Haynes to go a bit more explicit biographical route, instead of the pure emotional route. There's just not a lot of history to learn here, which is something I was looking forward to.
The 2015 edition of the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films list.
Incomplete data forced the…
I need a cinematic eye-opening, so to speak.
Please leave a simple comment on this list of your 3 favorite…