Frank is a strange and wonderful new movie drawn from an even stranger and not quite so wonderful real-life story. It's a way-offbeat indie exercise, and the fact that Michael Fassbender, of all people, was drawn to star in it, with his famous face hidden inside a big fake head, is strangely wonderful in itself, writes Kurt Loder. The film's inspiration is the late Chris Sievey, a pop-punky English musician who became a cult figure in the 1980s and early '90s as Frank Sidebottom, the leader of a provincial club band that specialized in ricky-tick Queen and Beatles covers. To play this role, Sievey concealed his identity within a beach-ball-size papier-mâché head, which he wore both onstage and, frequently, offstage as well. The head's painted-on googly-eyed expression could be read as either music-hall jollity or something a little more sinister, and whatever might have compelled Sievey to hide behind it remains unclear. Loder also reviews The Giver.
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