OK, in case you haven’t heard, earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, Michael Fassbender starred in a movie called “Frank” about an outsider rock band that crosses paths with an ambitious young wannabe musician and how that chance meeting changes both their lives forever. Oh, yeah, and it’s easily one of the best movies of the year. Much will be made about how Fassbender wears a papier-mâché head for about 95% of the movie, but somehow, the genius of it all, is that it’s still one of his finest performances.
The movie also stars Dohmnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy and and is directed by Lenny Abrahamson (his most recent effort being the excellent “What Richard Did” that launched Jack Reynor’s career stateside). Written by Jon Ronson (“The Men Who Stare At Goats”) and Peter Straughan (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), “Frank” (the name of Fassbender’s character) a fictional comedy loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom – the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey.
In our A-grade review of “Frank,” we called the picture, “an off-the-wall and terrific paean to the misfits and freaks of the world, their dreams, visions and togetherness.” It’s a terrific movie and it’s depiction of maverick, damaged outsider artists definitely tips its caps to oddball musicians like Syd Barrett, Daniel Johnston, Captain Beefheart and Harry Partch.
Aside from being hilarious, absurdist and even heartbreaking, “Frank” has an fantastic soundtrack performed live by all the actors in the film as cameras were rolling. The most iconic, or soon-to-be iconic songs in the film is the closing song called, “I Love You All,” a sad and bizarre ballad with weird lyrics like “put your arms around me, fiddly digits, itchy britches, I love you all.” All I know is that everyone I saw at Sundance afterwards was singing this song for hours subsequent to the screening.
“Frank” purists (me) should know that this version of “I Love You All” sounds like the slightly different version played in the closing credits of the film and not quite the superior version played live near the end of the movie (and actually it sorta sounds slightly different from the credits version, but that was months ago, so what do I know…). Anyhow, here’s your first listen at what, in a proper universe, should be one of the songs of the year, “I Love You All.” “Frank” opens via Magnolia Pictures on August 22. Here’s the first trailer, the first clip and our SXSW interview with the director in case you want more context. Go see this movie.