In the comedy-drama “Frank,” Academy-Award nominated actor Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave”) wears an enormous paper-mache mask over his head during the entire film.
That ridiculous concept alone should be enough to convince anyone to watch this fantastic movie.
The story begins with an aspiring musician named Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) joining an outlandish pop band led by the mysterious and eccentric vocalist Frank (Fassbender).
In a remote cabin, Jon and the band of misfits collaborate on their first album.
The daily recording sessions of far-out sounds consist of bizarre off-the-wall experiments motivated by high inspiration.
The urge to create anything genuine combined with the frustration of incompetence is a passion anyone can identify with.
While visiting Austin, Texas, for SXSW, Jon’s desire to become well known doesn’t sit well with his companions.
Frank and the other band members could care less about being likeable. Their primary purpose is to create art for the sake of art.
There’s never a dull moment of dialog — the writing is rich and ludicrous.
For example, a death in this movie shifts from serious grief to sudden absurdity.
And the cast is about as unique as the film’s music.
It never feels like Gleeson is beneath the others’ performances.
If anything, Gleeson proves to be just as good an actor as his acclaimed colleagues.
And Maggie Gyllenhaal as the bipolar mess Clara never feels misused.
In the hands of lesser actors, the mental illnesses could have come off as dishonest and hokey.
Fassbender’s cartoon gestures combined with his bulk mask is comedy gold.
For instance, you know the exact expression Fassbender has when he misplaces the powdered food.
And it’s always great to see Scoot McNairy pop up randomly in the best movies.
The weird and lovable “Frank” is now on Netflix Instant and its soundtrack is available on the iTunes Store and Spotify.
“Grateful smile followed by quiet chuckle.”
To contact Ethan Cooper, email firstname.lastname@example.org