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Sundance Film Festival: Lenny Abrahamson's "Frank" hilarious, strange and tragic
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Jan 22, 2014 | 1553 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A still from "Frank." Photo by Lorey Sebastian.
A still from "Frank." Photo by Lorey Sebastian.
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Not rated, but there is swearing, a little nudity and one non-revealing sex scene

Written by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson

Starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhall, Scoot McNairy and more

Grade: Two stars

For most of the movie, “Frank” seems to be “Spinal Tap” for all those post-modernist-neo-expressionist-whatever bands who do entire “experimental” albums based on distortion. The band members are appropriately absurd – a lead singer who never takes off his paper mache head, an eternally angry woman who mostly contributes screeching noises, and a broody French duo who take everything deathly seriously. Gleeson is a charming tour guide through the insanity, and the source of several of the film’s biggest laughs.

In the last fifteen minutes, however, the comedy suddenly drops away to reveal an ultimately tragic look at mental illness, the beauty of the strangest, even most broken bonds, and accepting that reality isn’t always the way we’d like it to be. To “Frank,” the strangeness was never a joke. It was simply a painful truth. 

Check out more of Jenniffer Wardell's Sundance coverage here

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