By Peter Killip.
You know when a film just suprises and kicks the shit out of you……..in a good way? Yeah, a bit like that. Michael Fassbender dons the enlarged head of “Frank”, the painfully rendered frontman and not (it has to be stated) playing Timperley’s favourite nose-clip voiced son but something of a hybrid of influences, chiefly Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.
Opening on struggling songwriter Jon ( a weirdly Hugh Grant/Colin Firth vibing Domhnall Gleeson ) who can’t get a break until he stumbles upon the hugely unpronounceable ” Soronprfbs ” and takes on keyboard and promotional duties while they start to record a new album and tour and begins to bear witness to the inevitable fallout. Director Lenny Abrahamson takes the Jon Ronson penned take on what could have been achingly aware levels of quirk seeped in mockumentary and mines something that celebrates an outsider spirit through a heartwarming tragi-comic glow.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is heartbreaking as the wounded and glacially territorial Clara and is in good company for what in a better world, even with its onslaught of absurdist humour would’ve walked away with some award season acknowledgement but sometimes it’s seemingly better to be on the outside fringes looking in.
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