Against the backdrop of a nation on the brink of revolution, Uncle Sweetheart and Nina Veronica are slimy promoters planning a benefit concert. They desire the services of legendary singer Jack Fate, and soon Fate is sprung from jail. A rock journalist investigates the concert, attempting to determine just who will benefit. Revolution may be raging outside the arena, but Jack Fate and the benefit concert play on as planned. Written by
Ken Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The fact that Roger Ebert was so turned off by it is a damn good clue as to what's so great about this "movie." Remember when Dylan went electric in '65 at Newport and p***ed off everyone, especially the old tyme die hard folkies? Folk singers were supposed to be the voice of acceptance, inclusion, democracy. But there was righteous Pete Singer threatening to take an axe to the power cables to shut down Dylan's second set. Hypocrites. Bob's done it again with "Masked and Anonymous", a fake pseudo mock parable set in a far off exotic land that's much closer than we know. It's all done with a wink and a grin, and done very, very well.
Jessica Lange is absolutely amazing as an Industry Hustler, John Goodman is a riot and in the zone as a larger than life small time shmoozer. Jeff Bridges is, as always, Jeff Bridges! Penelope Cruz has never ever been so watchable, her cute accent exploited to the max. There's a crap load of supporting stars that just blaze in and out sight. Some you have to really squint to recognize, like Mickey Rourke as a slimy conniving politico. Giovanni Ribisi delivers a silver bullet monologue on the dilemmas of a revolutionary. And Bob Dylan is OK. OK may not sound like much, but with this high power, super star, mega talent mix, he's lucky to not be totally squashed. Bob's smart enough to say as little as possible, and it's a great contrast to all the uber-acting going on all around him.
Along with the very clever, maybe-too-smug dialog are some great unusual Dylan cover songs and a scant few divine "live" performances - Bob with a terribly good band, aiming for the throat and killing effortlessly. Transcendent moments, like lush oases on the desperately bleak American Film landscape, "Masked and Anonymous" is very cool refreshing entertainment.
Ever see one of those corny french philosophy lessons from the 60's that they like to call a film? This flick will help ya get over it.
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