I'm Not There


His Bobness moves in multifarious ways, according to US-indie godhead Todd Haynes’ rock-biopic remix. Having charted the gender ch-ch-ch-changes of glam in Velvet Goldmine, Haynes re-imagines Dylan as a kind of chameleonic blueprint for Bowie. Six actors bring Bob back home, reeling in his slippery-fish personas or some hall-of-mirrors-ish tangential aspect of him. Marcus Carl Franklin’s startlingly confident young folkie almost yanks the rug from beneath the Cuban heels of Ben Whishaw, Christian Bale and Heath Ledger’s takes, but it’s Cate Blanchett’s electric riot of pill-pooped androgyny that hits at the heart of this multi-hued homage, bridging the evasive insolence of mid-’60s Dylan with Haynes’ elusive patchwork of ideas. Compared to more stodgily reverential biopics, I’m Not There’s commitment to its subject keeps it quick-footed and freewheelin’ throughout. Nice they tagged on a Ledger tribute; pity this one-discer’s only half the size of the US version.

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