“I’m Not There” stars Marcus Carl Franklin, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, and Ben Whishaw. It’s directed Todd Haynes (Safe, Far from Heaven) who wrote the screenplay with the help of Oren Moverman (Face).
The film follows the life of Bob Dylan with six different characters portraying the artist. The six characters are all different looks at the way Dylan lived his life, portraying many different forms of personalities that are all reminiscent to a legend who grows up to care about absolutely nothing. None of these characters are referred to as “Bob Dylan” in the film. Each have their own pseudonyms.
“I’m Not There” is an ambitious, unique, and strong disposition towards honoring a folk music legend. Everyone wants to know if Cate Blanchett lives up to all the acclaim that she received for her depiction of Bob Dylan. Let me answer that question by saying she gives the performance of her career looking sufficently natural puffing on a smoke stick. Not to give the impression that she steals the show from all the other A-list performances. It’s an all around well-acted film with Cate Blanchett giving the most accurate impersonation of them all, pin-pointing Dylan’s moves and voice to near perfection.
From the star’s rise to fame, reaching of fame and near downfall from fame, the film tries to truthfully follow the real life experiences of this famous poet. Although convoluted at times, I was thoroughly engaged. Even non-fans of the music can admire the style in which they honored this folklore. A manner in which a female actress portrays this musician most accurately is just an amazing feat. Although Richard Gere gives the most forgettable performance in the film, it just might be from the near impeccable performances by Marcus Carl Franklin, Christian Bale, Ben Whishaw and most of all Cate Blanchett.
When I come across a respectful piece of work from a director I’m not familiar with, it makes me wonder what he has up his sleeve in the future. This was a great movie. A well-scripted, tightly-edited, and somewhat tarnished film that deserves all the praise one could give. To put in more simple terms, it’s a flawed masterpiece.