I'm Not There Reviews
The singular haunting beauty of I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' thrilling deep-vision meditation on the music and many lives of Bob Dylan, is that obsession isn't just its fuel -- it's the movie's spirit and subject, its driving force.
A powerfully reverent exercise in remystification, an attempt to waft some of the clouds of glory back around the great man, clouds that might have dispersed in recent years.
I appreciate Haynes' craft and ambition. I love the Ledger/Gainsbourg scenes, which are sweet and sad and delicately shaded. And Blanchett's inspired not-quite-impersonation of Dylan is reason enough to tussle with the rest of it.
What emerges is a speculative, critical essay about the 60s, weighted down in spots by political correctness and a conflicted desire to mock Dylan's denseness while catering to his hardcore fans, but otherwise lively, fluid, and watchable.
I'm Not There is at once experimental and mainstream: Haynes juggles the facts, plays fast and loose, but serves up images, and songs that are as much a part of the collective pop consciousness as anything the 20th century produced.
Writer-director Todd Haynes has come up with the most interesting psycho-cultural-biographical mix in memory here, managing to make the film reek of the artsy '60s at the same time it unfailingly honors its subject.
I cannot believe this is the Todd Haynes who topped my ten-best list in 2002 with the magnificent, unforgettable Far From Heaven. Headed for the No. 1 spot on my ten-worst list, I'm Not There is a tumultuous disappointment.