Multiple personalities.
November 21, 2007 11:29 PM   Subscribe

Well, someone's gone and made a feature-length biopic on Bob Dylan. It was bound to happen, right? Didn't necessarily expect Cate Blanchett (along with 5 others) to be cast in the role of Bob, but, hey, she looks great with the flyaway hair and the cigarette. Here's a clip, wherein Cate as Bob meets Ginsberg in a golfcart. Here's a trailer and an IMDB page. Here director Todd Haynes talks about the film. He discusses his casting of Blanchett, and offers observations on other aspects of the movie here and here. And if you want to read reviews, there's plenty of 'em.
posted by flapjax at midnite (27 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I was just reading about this last night. Bizarre casting choice and although she really does resemble him in the photos, my first thought was whether her voice would throw it off. Hard to tell in the clip as she still sounds a bit womanly. Great reviews though so I guess she pulls it off.
posted by gfrobe at 11:46 PM on November 21, 2007

I read a Vanity Fair article (in their "special" Music Rocks edition) about the biopic, and if I remember correctly, their reviewer thought Cate Blanchett did a great job.
posted by amyms at 11:49 PM on November 21, 2007

Hard to tell in the clip as she still sounds a bit womanly.

I don't really know a lot about the film, but it's my impression that Haynes didn't necessarily want her to not sound "womanly". In fact, on one of the interview clips he mentions his perception of Dylan's somewhat androgynous persona during that particular period of his life that Blanchett is dramatizing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:58 PM on November 21, 2007

Well he wasn't too gentlemanly or ladylike when I was frantically typing new lyrics in the back of his bus after a show in a lame attempt to garner his favor.

Eh. Whatever. I won't look back.
posted by sourwookie at 12:24 AM on November 22, 2007

Thus far I approve of the Blanchett casting, simply because she looks ridiculously hot as Bob Dylan. Androgyny: can I get a hell yes?
posted by honeydew at 1:12 AM on November 22, 2007

Hell yes.

And if this movie is anything near as good as it's reviews, I'll toss in a free gosh darn!
posted by From Bklyn at 2:10 AM on November 22, 2007

If you can get to hear Anthony from Anthony and the Johnsons doing Knocking on Heaven's Door you're lucky, it's a cracker. (cracker=very good)
posted by mattoxic at 2:30 AM on November 22, 2007

This is perhaps as good a time as any to link to Dylan and Lennon riding together in a car. Part 1. Part 2. Not exactly the revelatory meeting of your dreams of two of the 20th century's greatest songwriters... But, oh well.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:31 AM on November 22, 2007

Saw the film here in Italy - on the whole, it's a very ambitious mirrorplay of a movie (as I was watching it felt like Fellini), and not all parts are entirely successful. Some others, however - and Blanchett's is one of them - are profoundly stunning, especially if you treat yourself beforehand to a bit of the real Dylan (a concept that the film will... put radically into perspective, to say the least).
posted by progosk at 3:43 AM on November 22, 2007

I wonder if the movie touches on the Hard Rain tour at all. Dylan in whiteface was a very arresting and obviously theatrical sight. Here's a slamming version of Isis from Rolling Thunder.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 AM on November 22, 2007

flapjax, the movie's focused on the Dylan of the sixties, from the scruffy Woody Guthrie wannabe to that motorcycle crash at Woodstock. Haynes does time-lapse in some stuff from later in his life, though, notably his divorce and conversion to fundamentalist Christianity.

It looks like potentially a very interesting movie--Blanchett in particular is pretty eerie as Electric Bob. I suspect it'll either be one of the most brilliant films of the year, or, well. . .Masked and Anonymous.
posted by EarBucket at 4:42 AM on November 22, 2007

Shit, I had no idea that David Cross was in even in this movie. Ginsberg? This should be interesting.

I love the Blanchett casting. Not only is she incredibly hot, it will make for an interesting sequence in the movie. Can't wait to see it!
posted by purephase at 4:45 AM on November 22, 2007

If you dig Dylan / Lennon also check out The Ten Most Incomprehensible Bob Dylan Interviews of All Time
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:53 AM on November 22, 2007

I think this approach to a biopic says more about our culture's image of Bob Dylan more than Bob Dylan him/her/itself.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:09 AM on November 22, 2007

I think that's the whole point, ZachsMind, hence the title.
posted by hermitosis at 5:17 AM on November 22, 2007

The Ten Most Incomprehensible Bob Dylan Interviews of All Time

Five of the eight video clips embedded in that article have already been pulled from YouTube...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:19 AM on November 22, 2007

I caught this a few months ago at a film festival, and thought Blanchett was fantastic. As was the whole movie. Of course, the person I was with hated it and thought it was the worst thing we saw out of 43 movies at the festival, even though we usually have very similar film tastes. But I thought it was terrific, with the possible exception of Richard Gere's section, which didn't really work for me.
posted by Stacey at 5:44 AM on November 22, 2007

David Cross! I was trying to think of who Ginsburg was because man was it eerie.

And uh, flapjax that clip of Isis is really a lot in all the best ways. (thanks again.)
posted by From Bklyn at 5:45 AM on November 22, 2007

Yeah, the Isis clip -- really fine. That early seventies period was really one of Dylan's most "human," in that he was out there, trying to make sense of the crappy music scene of the period like everybody else, putting on glammy makeup, but powering through the garbage with incredible stuff like this. It was also the period that took him to the edge of the abyss, and ultimately, his born-again phase, which -- considering the times -- was really a return to sanity.
posted by Faze at 5:57 AM on November 22, 2007

there are a couple of scenes in the wedding singer where adam sandler looks uncannily like dylan.
posted by kitchenrat at 6:02 AM on November 22, 2007

Haynes' interview on Fresh Air was an interesting listen.

kitchenrat: See Reign Over Me for more Sandler-Dylan uncanniness.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:10 AM on November 22, 2007

I gave I'm Not There a lukewarm review at the New York Film Festival, but it's been growing on me since. J. Hoberman's rave is the one that's really making me want to see it again and reconsider. A.O. Scott's is especially good, too. More from Green Cine Daily, and video from the NYFF press conference part 1, part 2, part 3.
posted by muckster at 7:13 AM on November 22, 2007

with the possible exception of Richard Gere's section

Erm, Stacey, I was trying to be discreet about it, but now you've spelled it out: that part is, by all accounts, so awful, that I found myself positing some esoteric motivation on Haynes' part for his insistence on keeping it in...
posted by progosk at 7:18 AM on November 22, 2007

david Cross has got to be the best casting decision for Ginsberg in a movie outside of casting Ginsberg himself.
posted by Parannoyed at 9:06 AM on November 22, 2007

omg, I adore Bob and Cate but I have not seen this. No, I did not click on the video links. I have to spend some time processing the probabilities in my mind just in case I am disappointed.

hard but fragile,
posted by maggieb at 6:18 PM on November 22, 2007

just saw it. cate blanchett was amazing. the film was a trashy attempt to be both "art" and a gushing blowjob of the silly dylan mythology. if ms. blanchett's portion of the movie were excised, the rest would be totally unwatchable film school crap.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 9:27 PM on November 22, 2007

david cross was inspired casting, as well.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 9:38 PM on November 22, 2007

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