Friday, November 23, 2007
I'm Not There (2007)
So, I caught this one last night, and it was really an odd experience. I still haven't quite solidified all of my thoughts on this one, but in part, that's a big reason why I like it. It's because I'm still thinking of it today. While there are so many films that come out and are just.... fucking worthless, for a lack of a more tasteful way of stating it, there are far more that are fine, but just roll off my back. I feel like I can mark it off the list of films I've seen and then I forget about it.
And for better or for worse, this isn't one of those films. This is a film that you either dig or you don't. And I definitely dug it. Now, this isn't to say that it's the best film I've ever seen or that it'll make my year-end top 10. Hell, it wasn't even the best film I saw this week (No Country For Old Men takes that honor), but it's just a rare film that really challenged me, and I appreciate that.
When going into movies, I try not to read on too much plotwise on a film. I'd rather be surprised, even with the most basic of plot developments. So, in approaching this movie, I anticipated a Palindromes-like take on a Bob Dylan biopic, which isn't what I got. Even though they are billing it as such, the six principal actors aren't representing Bob Dylan at all, but rather six fictionalized characters that are sort of "inspired by" Bob Dylan. And their stories are interspersed to form a very non-linear film that is alternately fascinating and frustrating.
My best advice is to sit back, take it as it comes, and not analyze or try to construct something out of it. For me, it just seems futile to even try. It's too all over the place, and there's very little through which to link these stories. Yet somehow, despite liking some segments more than others, I found it to be a pretty interesting film as a whole, even though impatience set in at times.
While this film is probably most notable in the pop culture right now for the gimmick of having Cate Blanchett play "Bob Dylan," I was more impressed with others. In particular, Marcus Carl Franklin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Julianne Moore in a brief, but memorable, featured turn during the Christian Bale segment.
It's actually a pretty beautifully filmed piece as well, especially during Franklin's segment and Richard Gere's segment (although his is the most "WTF?" of them all). The film falters a little bit by overstaying its welcome by a good half hour and occasionally going off on to limbs that can't support it at times, but even in its failures, it's spectacularly interesting. So, it's flawed as hell, but quite fascinating too.