I’m Not There (2007)

Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale

Directed by Todd Haynes

(from top left to bottom right) Christian Bale, Ben Whishaw, the late Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Marcus Carl Franklin, Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan

At once incredibly creative, and a great gaggle of performances – my favorites being Heath Ledger and the incomporable Cate Blanchett – make for some compelling scenes. But the movie doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to those who don’t fawn at every tidbit of information concerning Dylan’s life and story, or have a greater knowledge of his complete discography than they have of the current Presidential cabinet.

I like Bob Dylan as much as the next person. I have about six or seven songs of his that I absolutely love and am finding more everyday. He’s one of the most poignant and compelling figures to ever involve themselves in music. But that doesn’t make this movie entertaining. “I’m Not There” plays itself out like an indie biopic produced by the Weinsteins (which it probably is); like an abstract painting that four or five “experts” deign the greatest thing to grace this earth while we’re all left scratching our heads. It’s a strange dream of a movie that leaves me wondering whether or not i’d have rather spent the past two hours and ten minutes listening to Nashville Skyline over and over again instead of milling around in my brain to make sense of this mess.

Dylan has become such a revered part of popular culture that to mention his name and the statement “i don’t really like his music” in the same sentence can give you a lifetime of dirty looks. Well I like Dylan, but I don’t like this.

Pictures from www.fataculture.wordpress.com and www.widescreenjournal.org, respectively.