Frank 2014

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Acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson follows up his award-winning films Adam & Paul, Garage and What Richard Did with an offbeat comedy about a young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head, and his terrifying bandmate Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Men Who Stare At Goats), FRANK is based on the memoir by Jon Ronson. It is a fictional story loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey.

Starring:
Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 35 minutes
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Director Leonard Abrahamson
Genres Comedy, Drama
Studio Curzon Film World
Rental release 15 September 2014
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 35 minutes
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Director Leonard Abrahamson
Genres Comedy, Drama
Studio Curzon Film World
Rental release 15 September 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Nov. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
An odd and wonderful mix of comedy and sadness, absurdity and reality, playfulness and originality. The acting is terrific throughout, the cast creating slightly larger than life comic characters that somehow still feel real enough to invest in emotionally. It's a tone few movies get right. "Harold and Maude" comes to mind.

Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) wants to be a pop star in the worst way (literally). He walks around writing amusingly bad pop tunes in his head. Life as a musician seems only a dream when as luck would have it a band, playing in his home town for just one night, needs a replacement when their keyboard player goes bonkers, and Jon is in the right place at the right moment. Thus begins Jon's journey with a band of misfits, who may be geniuses or just delusional... or both.

They are led by Frank (Michael Fassbender) an amiable if deeply odd fellow, who wears a giant plaster head that he never takes off, even to sleep. His counterweight is the angry, punky and edgy Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is fiercely protective of the fragile Frank, and sees Jon's attempts to get the band to go mainstream as dangerous to both their artistic integrity, and Frank's well being. All this leads to adventures, changes, discoveries and insights that are often outrageous and darkly funny, but ultimately quite moving as well.

Also to be noted is just how great the music and songs created for the film are. They have to be "off" enough to be funny, but good enough for us to believe there really is something to Frank's talents. This is done very well, both in the writing and performing, the actors showing some musical chops, and the film creating tunes that, to my surprise have been caught in my head for days.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Mason TOP 50 REVIEWER on 5 April 2015
Format: DVD
Jon is a twenty-something keyboardist and songwriter, who lives a humdrum existence in quiet middle class suburbia. A quirk of fate finds him recruited into an oddball electro-rock band, who's mercurial lead singer, Frank, wears a cartoonish paper mâché head. The band head off to a secluded cabin retreat in a forest somewhere in Ireland, where they idle the days away by discovering themselves artistically....
This flick works really hard to be left-field and inventive and, to a certain extent, it works. The film successfully keeps you guessing about why the frontman Frank chooses or needs to wear a fake head. However, I found that keeping the identity of one of the two lead characters disguised behind a cartoon mask, was an artificial conceit which wore very thin early on in the movie. I'm sure that Michael Fassbender, who plays Frank and is a very gifted actor, could have brought a lot more to the role if he hadn't been stuck inside a mask throughout much of the movie. If he'd simply been a disfigured or disabled frontman, a character like, say, Ian Dury, I'm certain that I'd have found Frank a lot more engaging.
It doesn't help that the songs in the movie are instantly forgettable, there's not a single stand out track. The pacing is off and the story wanders around pretty aimlessly. It's a real pity that the one actor with the charisma and screen presence to have made this a good movie, Fassbender, is the one actor who you don't get to see, at least until very late in the film.
If you like offbeat and quirky movies, you might well enjoy this one, but personally I found it just a little bit too downbeat, pseudo-intellectual and uninspired.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD
I remember thinking when I first saw the trailers for Lenny Abrahamson’s 2014 film, based on co-writer Jon Ronson’s reflections on the film’s inspiration Frank Sidebottom (the comic invention of Chris Sievey), that it might prove to be too wacky for me. And wacky it certainly is – eccentric characterisations, offbeat humour and fanciful plot points abound – but, in amongst the chaos, Abrahamson has managed to craft an original, endearing, often very funny and increasingly perceptive and moving take on the nature of (artistic) ambition (in a media-driven world), sanity and friendship. Frank is also an impressive visual piece of cinema – cleverly edited and shot (the latter courtesy of cinematographer James Mather).

Frank’s tale of Domhnall Gleeson’s nerdy, aspiring musician, Jon, actually begins in fairly standard (though endearing) fashion until the dreamer, struggling to get beyond 'Madness hooks’, is offered the 'chance of a lifetime’ (maybe) by Scoot McNairy’s 'cool’ manager, Don, to step in as keyboardist in the latter’s band, the curiously named Soronprfbs (proponents of a sort of Yo La Tengo-like low-fi noisejam). We’re now increasingly in 'fractious, opinionated music biz’ territory as Jon finds himself coerced to remotest Ireland to record the band’s new album, with (among other misfits) Don, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s offhand Clara and Michael Fassbender’s band-leader and false-head wearing, Frank. Of course, for most people, the film’s abiding memory will be Fassbender’s (or more appropriately, Frank’s) mysterious – and increasingly mesmerising and endearing – character. And, whilst the ever-reliable Fassbender is again impressive here, so are both Gleeson and (particularly) Gyllenhaal, as the other two components of an increasingly tense, artistic (and pseudo-romantic) tiff.
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