I really liked Frank, the story of an Irish kid who meets an American indie band led by a man who never takes off a giant fake head. The film is also on a long list of movies that I really appreciated, but would normally be hesitant to recommend to anyone. I hate endorsing movies to friends when there is a solid chance people won’t like it, mostly because such a vast majority of people hate what they hate with much more passion and intensity than they love anything they love. I initially wrote much more about that fact as I was composing this, but then decided it was best left for a different post altogether. Suffice it to say that I have trouble separating my own feelings from the art I love, and most people are assholes when they don’t like something. Thus, even my best friends don’t normally get recommendations from me unless they read this blog, wherein I get to share stuff in a bit of a vacuum.
Anyway, the trailers for Frank make it seem like the film is about a lovable Irish kid who finds a genius songwriter who is a diamond in the rough, and a bit nuts, and nudges him toward a wider audience. In reality, the film is much better, and at times much much more uncomfortable than that. There were scenes later in the film where I literally had to pace my living room because I was so uncomfortable about what was taking place and how casually terrible people can be.
Frank is about genius, and mental illness, and being talentless (but too talentless to know it), and it is about that age-old conversation about the relationship between creative genius and mental illness. It’s about community, finding those people who see you and understand you and accept you for who and what you are, and make you better. The film is small and intelligent, and it is one of the few movies about brilliant and weird music that actually includes brilliant and weird music. Most of the time they just keep telling us it is weird and brilliant and we are supposed to go along with it. Everybody in it is great, which is what sells the uncomfortable moments so well, but also what makes the heart and beauty land perfectly.
I absolutely loved the closing moments of the film, for reasons that are best explained in a long conversation with someone who gives a shit about my two cents, instead of in a hastily written blog post. I’m sharing that scene so people who have seen the film can enjoy it again, but I would recommend skipping it if you haven’t watched Frank. Both because of spoilers, and because you won’t know what the fuck is going on. I just needed a scene about a man who can often only express himself indirectly and through an artistic medium included on RtM.