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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Suggests that even in a celebrity-obsessed culture, you never really know who an artist is, as he may be various different versions of himself all at once.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish image of young Woody being swallowed by a whale and a fantasy sequence of Jude and his band machine-gunning the crowd at a concert (it's a metaphor for Dylan going electric). Disturbing scene in which a murdered young woman is propped up in her coffin for everyone at a funeral to see. A child pets a dead horse.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple of artistic lovemaking scenes -- in one, breasts are visible. There's a glimpse of a full-frontal Heath Ledger as he emerges out of the shower. Several kisses and three images of men's buttocks.
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More prevalent in some sequences than others. Words include "s--t," "a--hole," "c--ksucker," "tit," "f--k," "bitch," "p---y," "goddamn," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pill-popping during '60s mod scenes; cigarette smoking throughout. Minor social drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this experimental meditation on the "many lives of Bob Dylan" will go straight over the head of most younger viewers. Older teens who've been exposed to Dylan's music may be curious about the drama, but its metaphoric nature means it probably won't appeal to most of them -- or to non-fan adults, for that matter. Without a fair amount of knowledge of Dylan's music and life, the film will seem confusing and slow. There are a few love scenes and shots of naked breasts and buttocks, not to mention one quick full-frontal flash of a post-shower Heath Ledger. Expect some language (standard R-rated stuff), a bit of '60s pill-popping, and lots of smoking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Haynes is, stylistically, a master of his craft, and his film is a moving, innovative tribute to Dylan. It's likely that I'm Not There will one day be studied in graduate film courses. But audiences less interested in style than substance will have to make do with Blanchett's sublime performance and the notable work of Bale, Franklin, and Gainsbourg. Each story is also strengthened by its own color palette and accompanying Dylan song.
With such a stream-of-consciousness approach to Dylan's essence, those without extensive background knowledge of the man and his art are left out of the collective joke/excitement/nostalgia. By the time the real singer plays his harmonica, in close-up, at the very end, we've come no further in understanding who the real Dylan is or was -- but it's fascinating, albeit at times frustrating, to guess which parts Haynes got right.
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Our Editors Recommend
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