Frank, film review: Michael Fassbender is as dark and brooding as ever
(15) Lenny Abrahamson, 95 mins Starring: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy
Lenny Abrahamson’s comedy-drama, co-written by Jon Ronson, captures brilliantly the anxiety, narcissism and long periods of boredom and inertia that go along with being in an indie band.
Domhnall Gleeson plays a young musician recruited to join the “Soronprfbs” after the keyboardist tries to drown himself.
The band is fronted by “Frank” (inspired by Frank Sidebottom), who never takes off his papier-mâché mask. The band spend months in a rural retreat in Ireland trying to record an album before, largely thanks to Jon’s efforts on social media, they are invited to the South by Southwest festival in Texas.
The tone of the film is disconcerting. You expect Monkees-style whimsy but Frank is as dark and brooding in its storytelling as its band leader (Michael Fassbender) is in his behaviour.
This is a very dysfunctional band. Maggie Gyllenhaal is an incongruous presence as the belligerent theremin player Clara. “Frank, for all his issues, is 100 per cent the sanest cat I’ve ever met,” the manager says of the frontman. The irony is that for all his foibles, Frank does indeed have an integrity (and a talent) that far exceeds that of any of the other musicians here.
The film isn’t as funny as might have been expected and the final-reel revelations risk undermining its mystique. Its attitude toward the music business is hard to surmise. We are never sure if it is satire or a celebration of offbeat genius. And yet, for all its dissonances, Frank is provocative and affecting. Fassbender’s rousing rendition of “I Love You All” suggests he could have an alternative career if the acting parts dry up.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as it’s not him
Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures