Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'm Not There

In a comment on the 365 blog, Jeannie asked if she'd missed my review of the recently released Bob Dylan bio-pic I'm Not There.

Well, you missed it because I never posted one. Not a single opinion from me to you, due mostly to timing. Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I saw the film December 23, and the days from then until just a couple days ago have been a blur of holidays, outings, football and retirement.

We are, in fact, still getting used to the idea that he doesn't have to go to work! More about this later. First, the movie.

Frankly, if I weren't such a Bob Dylan fanatic, I probably wouldn't have gotten it. Writer/director Todd Haynes has structured the film around six characters, played by six different and diverse actors, each of whom represents Dylan at a different stage of his career.

It helps tremendously to know, for instance, that in Dylan's early years he was obsessed with Woody Guthrie, and that he later experienced a religious conversion.

Some of the dialogue – and even some of the visuals – are taken right out of song lyrics, which is surprising and delightful when you happen to catch one. Mr. Shrinking Knitter didn't catch any of them. Not that he didn't try.

The acting is superb, particularly Cate Blanchett, who deserves an Oscar for her dead-on portrayal of a chain-smoking, nervous Dylan at the height of his career. Although, really, every time you think he's reached his peak he comes up with something new and wonderful.

If you're a Dylan fanatic, that is.

I loved this movie and am looking forward to adding the DVD to my collection when it's released [no details on when that might happen – I hope it's before my birthday, though. Hint, hint. Heh.]. The film's music is wonderful; Dylan songs at every turn. The soundtrack, however, is a disappointment. I much prefer Dylan singing Dylan; the CD has lots of wonderful songs, all but the last covered by other artists. [The last song is by Dylan when he was with The Band, but the sound quality is very poor.]

If you're a Dylan fan, you won't be disappointed. If not, you might appreciate the cinematography, but will probably find the abrupt transitions from one character to the next a bit confusing.

Now to Mr. Shrinking Knitter's retirement, which technically began December 21. Since he would have gotten a lot of those end-of-year holidays off, it feels to us like he started retirement January 2nd. In the past three days we've both eaten healthful meals and worked out regularly and he's taken a nap each afternoon. He's lost four pounds and I've … gained one.

The only thing I can attribute this to is that I didn't eat dinner three nights a week when he was working. He left on Mondays to drive four hours away to the clinic where he practiced, and he came home on Thursdays. I cooked real meals Thursday through Sunday, and ate very lightly the days he was gone.

Not sure what I'm going to do about this. I'm certainly working out more consistently now that he's home. He doesn't pressure me at all, but I feel more motivated and am much less likely to talk myself out of hopping on the treadmill when he's here.

So, as usual, it's all about the food. I'm sure I'll work it out eventually. In the meantime?

Thank goodness for yoga pants.


jeannie crockett said...

Thanks for the review. Neither DH nor I are big Dylan fans so I'm glad to hear we made the right choice in skipping this one! We are on vacation in Paris and usually going to American movies is an activity when we are tired of the French! But only two for this month: American Gangster and Gone, Baby, Gone. I'd nominate both of them for best picture of the year. Back to home and reality tomorrow.

Grumpy Chair said...

Amen to the yoga pants! If it weren't for them, I'd have no pants at all . . . that fit right now.

Mary Gee said...

Thanks for the movie review. I listened to Dylan a lot in the 60s, so I would probably 'get' the early parts, but not the later ones.