As far as hopelessly pretentious, senselessly artsy, mind-numbingly awful movies filled with music from overrated 60’s relics go; this one is WORSE than Across the Universe.
I’m Not There is one big fucking mess. It doesn’t make one lick of sense and it has the severe misfortune of featuring tons of Bob Dylan’s cringe-inducing nasally droning, or “songs”, if you will.
Supposedly the whole idea behind this film is that there are six actors “playing” different versions of Bob Dylan, but only half of them (Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Ben Whishaw) remotely resemble Dylan, or for that matter are even portrayed as folk singers. The other three are a washed up movie star (Heath Ledger), a little black kid (Marcus Carl Franklin) and Billy the Kid, played by Richard Gere of all people.
If that wasn’t disorienting enough, director Todd (Velvet Goldmine) Haynes hired a woodpecker with ADD to edit this fucker. Shit’s everywhere. One minute we’re following around Bale in an afro singing to a choir, next thing Blanchett’s wandering around a black and white Vidal Sassoon commercial getting wasted, then Gere’s riding a horse in what looks like a Hallmark Hall of Fame version of The Postman while liberating trick or treaters from Gandalf the Grey’s second cousin.
Honestly, you would need to do as much drugs as Bob Dylan did in his entire lifetime to make heads or tails out of this movie.
The only part worth recommending is Ledger’s performance. While everyone else in the film gets lost in the shuffle (That’s including you, Cate Blanchett. Man, was it just me, or did you get tired whenever someone was talking about this movie and all they could say was: “Oooh! Cate Blanchett plays Bob Dylan! Couldn’t you just DIE!!!” Give me a break!), only Ledger really registers above the slow, quiet, mewling death rattle that is this movie. The scenes he’s in are more or less inconsequential because of the general slipshod nature of the narrative, but he holds your attention, which is a lot more than I can say for all the other actors involved in this used cunt rag of a movie.
Seriously Todd, what the fuck up was with those Dr. Quinn Beyond Thunderdome Richard Gere scenes? Get back to me on that one ASAP. My sanity is in your hands…