This is an incredible rendering of Dylan’s life up until the ’80s. I’m not sure what sense it will make to those unfamiliar with this genius but watching the numerous seminal moments being re-enacted, with the original singing on the ‘track, made a riveting experience. Only the Gere as Billy-in-Pekinpah’s movie didn’t really work for me. And, as the Sight and Sound reviewer suggests, changing Dylan’s word’s in Judas moment in the Free Trade Hall didn’t make sense.
Casting six different actors in the role seems not to make sense but it works wonderfully. From the 11 year old black lad with Woody Guthrie’s guitar to Cate Blanchett’s Dont Look Back turn, all the players embody the Dylan-enigma with panache. Another pairing of Heath Ledger with Christian Bale and here Bale can, too, show what a fine actor he is.
It’s difficult not to love the movie if you love the music – there’s stacks of that – but this is more than postmodern playfulness. Maybe there’s trend as the last two postings have found something interesting in postmodern representations.