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Went to the movies twice this weekend to see two films (actually one film and one movie) that couldn't possibly be more diametrically opposed -- I'm Not There and Enchanted.

I'm Not There is a meditation on the life of Bob Dylan that is almost impossible to explain in words. Here's about as close as I can get: If Luis Bunuel had made a film about the life of Bob Dylan for the Lifetime network, then it would be like this. Six different actors play Bob Dylan during seven periods of his life (Christian Bale plays him twice) but none of them actually plays a character called Bob Dylan in the movie. Got that?

As a film (and the creators of this work definitely consider it a FILM), I found it difficult to absorb -- the non-linear non-narrative was very off-putting. At a certain point, I turned my brain off and enjoyed the two glories of the piece -- the cinematography and the performance of Cate Blanchett as mid-60s era Bob Dylan. Seldom in recent years have I seen a film as ravishingly photographed as this one. Even when you don't have a clue what is going on (which, I concede, may be the intention), your eyes are delighted at every turn. Blanchett, meanwhile, is absolutely astounding -- she is scarily believable.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I went to see Enchanted and found it delightful. This movie posits the question: What would happen if the lead female character from an animated Disney fairy tale found herself in present day real-life New York?

The joy of the piece is that the lead character -- Giselle (!) -- doesn't change as a result of her foray into New York -- the people around her do. Amy Adams is super in the lead. Given the potential to irritate the audience by speaking throughout in "Disney fairy tale speak", she instead comes across as winning and uncloying. James Marsden plays the prince who follows her from the animated world to the live-action world and he reveals himself to be a talented comedian and singer. And Patrick Dempsey is just too handsome and romantic as the down-on-love lawyer Adams meets in New York. It all ends the way you think it will but who cares? Only an unsentimental wretch would care!

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Thanks for posting, miliosr. I do believe you've cost me 8 bucks. :D I would not have hesitated to see Bunuel imagining Dylan, but as a big Dylan fan I've been so turned off by press that makes "I'm Not There" sound like Dylan really isn't there because Haynes has replaced him, that I planned to skip the film. Your reaction has changed my mind.

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kfw -- I would be interested to read your reaction.

I didn't come away with the feeling that Bob Dylan was somehow missing from the film. If anything, I thought the film would be incomprehensible if the viewer didn't have a fairly encyclopedic knowledge of key incidents and figures in Dylan's life. (This is especially true during the Cate Blanchett segments.)

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Thanks for posting, miliosr. I find Todd Haynes' movies to be interesting even if I don't always care for them - I wasn't as impressed by Far From Heaven as many were, but I'm glad I saw it.

I'm sure Blanchett is excellent, but as she's acting in drag she's bound to get more attention than the other actors....

'Enchanted' is receiving very good reviews and it sounds as if there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

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