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I'm Not There (2007)I'm Not There (2007)

           Just who is Robert Allen Zimmerman (b. 1941)? We know him as Bob Dylan, a name he assumed in 1962, and everyone knows his music when they hear it. But knowing the man has remained a quixotic quest. This unusual film combines clever artistic sophistication with musical nostalgia but fails badly to shed any light on the "real" Dylan. Perhaps that was not the film's purpose, or perhaps its purpose was to present Dylan's personality as badly fragmented. Six different actors play six different Dylans, including Cate Blanchett who was nominated for an Oscar for her role. But we're never told any of the characters is Bob Dylan, so if you don't know this in advance you'll be lost. The six characters have different names and different stories that aren't related but instead jump back and forth in a non-linear fashion. All six Dylans make him sound like a cult-like philosopher who only spoke in mysterious Zen-Like koans. Some of what they portray follows Dylan's real life, like his conversion to Christianity or his periods of obscurity, but other parts are entirely fictional (becoming a movie star). The tagline says that this film was "inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan," but in the end I was not sure what that meant.

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