Michael Fassbender first stole my heart away in the ’09 indie Fish Tank at the Athens Film Festival then later on alongside Carrie Mulligan in Shame, not to mention his intense performance in McQueen’s recent Academy award-winning picture Twelve Years A Slave. But in a different kind of role with less, uhh, sex addiction and seriousness, Fassbender takes on Frank in Lenny Abrahamson’s latest film inspired by Jon Ronson’s outcast comedic character Frank Sidebottom from his book released earlier this year.
Frank is what happens when a series of incidents, particularly one band’s tragedy (let’s just say musicians can be emo sometimes) combined with one guy Jon’s (Domhnall Gleeson) love for music conspire together and results in an unnecessary year-long recording of a band – The Soronprfbs – first full-length album in a summer abode way in the woods (OK, maybe not SO unnecessary).
Frank (Fassbender) is a locally idolized lead singer who never takes off this weird mask that totally looks like a cartoon character, but no one really says anything because it’s just kind of the norm; he’s Frank Sidebottom, lead singer of the Soronprfbs! – he does what he wants!
Sidebottom immediately takes a liking to Jon’s innocent musical ambition yet to be scarred by failure, and for one reason or another is inspired by his freshness that opposes the rest of his bandmates’ attitudes, especially the passive-aggressive Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who really boldens the entire movie with her hatred towards Jon.
Of course, it would not officially be a movie about a bunch of recluses in a band if someone didn’t quit their job in sacrifice for their art, because in what seems to be the perfect fate for Jon’s musical aspirations diluted by his less than ideal 9 to 5, joining Frank and the band sounds like a dream come true.
But as many musicians know all to well, not all of the “biz” is so glamorous. If you have ever been in a band or have ever tried making it, Frank is a humbling movie that is practically made for all those wannabes with their hearts set on a dream. Oh, and I’m totally not revealing weather or not Fassbender ever takes of the mask, because well, that would just ruin everything.
Fank is on limited release in select cities but will be available to the glorious world of the Interwebs coming soon (per IMDb).
(source: The Los Angeles Times)