Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Movie Review - Frank

Frank (2014)
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

There was something so promising about the quirky (yet not too quirky) and whimsical opening thirty minutes of Frank that I was hoping the inner smiling that was going on in me would continue as I watched director Lenny Abrahamson's film unfold.  That was not to be, however, as the second thirty minutes of Frank felt simply like a rehash of the first thirty minutes (with no real significant changes) thereby causing me to check out of the film as a whole just as it decided to get serious during its final thirty minutes.  Unfortunately, Frank only works a third of the time -- and that just doesn't cut it.

Domhnall Gleeson is Jon, a struggling young artist who wants nothing more than to have a successful career in music.  While walking along the British shores one afternoon, he sees a man attempting to drown himself in the ocean.  The saved man happens to be a keyboard player for the weird alternative band The Soronprfbs and Jon is invited on a whim to join them for the evening and replace the suicidal pianist.  When Jon arrives at the gig, he discovers that the lead singer is a guy named Frank (Michael Fassbender) who wears a large papier-mâché head which he never removes.  While certainly odd, Jon joins the band as they embark on an odyssey of creating their next album.

Gleeson is one of the decade's most promising rising stars for me and he doesn't disappoint here either.  From the very beginning of the film, he exudes a natural charm that makes it impossible not to root for his character.  Taking a more comedic turn than we're used to seeing from him, Michael Fassbender also proves to be compelling as the title character, bringing a surprising amount of heart, humor, and expression to a role that hardly ever allows us to see his facial expressions at all.

Unfortunately, despite these two rather good performances, Frank flounders as it progresses which is a shame because it starts so very promisingly.

The RyMickey Rating:  C


  1. Very quickly after he started posting stuff online about recording album, being in the band, etc, Gleeson's character became a shit for me. Not sure if that was around the half hour mark or not, but that's when I checked out. The tweets he was doing at start at film should have been a red flag I guess.

  2. I never saw him as a shitty guy -- I saw him as a loner (with those 30ish twitter followers at the beginning) who saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I think the dream of becoming a celebrity certainly controlled him and I can TOTALLY see how you could see him as a shitty guy. It just never got to that point for me.

    Gyllenhaal's character? To me, the film started to fall apart when she took on a bigger role...her character was so irritatingly nasty that I cringed when she shrieked at Gleeson. I realize that was her role, but her character seemed to become more prevalent at that 30 minute mark and that's when my checking out began.