Rated: R for language and some sexual content. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: August 15, 2014 Released by: Magnolia Pictures
This strange, dark, sometimes elusive tale has a unique soulfulness thanks to its eponymous faceless character.
Frank stars Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal and there's an odd edgy warm confidence from the musical texture of enthalpy and entropy around an avant-garde band fronted by Fassbender's Frank who has on a papier-mâché coif.
Irish helmer Lenny Abrahamson draws not so strictly from the life of Frank Sidebottom, with Gleeson's bratty naïf in Jon enlisted to play keyboards for the band just aspiring to compose a song. Part of the band includes inane manager Don (Scott McNairy) as a scene-stealing Gyllenhaal as the clamorously scary Clara.
A wild absurdity and lack of empathy trickles amidst the clash of personalities that offers a portal to feelings that have a weird, if palpable familial resonance. Internalizing a volatile life is something Gyllenhaal excels at while the physical and vocal expressions of Fassbender are something to behold even with amusing discourse opposite a rather giddy Gleeson. Can something so unsettling and even apocalyptic in moving from Ireland (where Jon supports a gig) and participates on their next recording to a Texas festival be gratifying on a most outrageous trek? A lurching, fragmented tale is very opinionated and replete with desirousness, but in its notions and getting under the surface is well spoken for by Frank in a freaky, but remarkably humanistic way.