Film Reviews, Short Review

Frank (2014)

3/4

Based vaguely on Frank Sidebottom, the British musical comedy character popular in the 80s, Frank follows Jon (Domhnall Glesson), an aspiring musician who finds himself invited to record an album with the mysterious titular character (Michael Fassbender) and his band. Fassbender, despite being encased inside a giant paper-mache head for most of the film, is by far and away the best thing here; shorn of its star’s most recognisable trait, his performance is a masterclass in acting with bodily gestures and the voice, and the supporting cast, especially Maggie Gyllenhaal as a jealous, psychopathic theremin player are superb too. However, Frank‘s biggest misstep lies in Gleeson’s performance. Normally an excellent actor, here he plays Jon as an awkward, talentless, fame-chaser, the result being too abrasive and jarring with the rest of the film’s tone: it’s hard to believe that such a musically bland guy would be invited to play with such an otherwise experimental-sounding band.

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