Friday, June 13, 2008
My final verdict on "I'm Not There"...
I fucking loved it.
I know, I know, I waited too long to see it, and by now its as cold as yesterday's fish. My problem -- I have an issue with standard-fare biopics. Worst offender: Oliver Stone's odious "The Doors," which works best if you view it as a comedy (it has as many quotable lines as "Caddyshack," honestly -- "Naw, I ain't drinkin', ma, just a little low-grade acid!" Who says that?). Recently, I liked and then kinda didn't like "Walk The Line" which featured some magnificent performances but had the whole "this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened" approach, and by the end you know fuck all about who Johnny Cash actually was. You knew he wore black and liked prisoners a lot, and that's about it.
Which is why "I'm Not There" is so fucking brilliant. By the end you really don't know much about Bob Dylan's life, but you feel like maybe you know Bob Dylan. By splintering his personality into a series of vignettes only nominally related to Actual Dylan and by eschewing standard-fare biographical narration for a surrealist approach, you end up deep within the characters that Dylan created for himself, and at the end maybe feel like you have a fragment of an understanding of the guy, which is really all you can hope for.
- Yes, I totally dug the scenes with Richard Gere and the weird western town with the giraffes. I get it. It makes sense.
- Cate Blanchett was fucking ROBBED, Oscar-wise. That might have been my favorite performance from last year, honestly. She's a fucking marvel. She's channeling the Bob of that era, but infusing him with this desperate exhaustion -- so damn good.
- Wow, Christian Bale sure can sing, huh? I loved him as Jesus Dylan best, totally forgotten by time, singing his songs to a tiny crowd of the faithful, that was phenomenal.
- What can be said about Heath Ledger? As a father who doesn't get to see his kid much, those scenes broke my fucking heart. So much sadness in that guy, and how good is Charlotte Gainsbourg? Magnificent.
- The little kid at the beginning, singing with Richie Havens -- lord god, that scene brought chills.
I DON'T BELIEVE YOU!
YOU'RE A LIAR!!