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Masked and Anonymous (2003)
Amateur Film-making At Its Worst
MASKED AND ANONYMOUS has potential to attract viewers as a curio. Don't let yourself be one of them. Bob Dylan may very well have had more impact on the music and poetry of the last forty years than any individual. Since sound movies began, it has seemingly been assumed that anyone who makes it in the music business has a good chance of making it in movies. Of course, there have been several exceptions, and when is anyone going to figure out that Bob Dylan is one of them? It doesn't make him less of a creative legend, and besides, he recently received an Oscar as a songwriter, so perhaps that's his cinematic forte. In 1973, his abysmal performance almost single-handedly sunk the movie PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID. He went on to "act" in two majorly poorly received movies, RENALDO AND CLARA and HEARTS OF FIRE. For some reason, it seems many of Hollywood's finest jumped at the chance to appear in a movie with him, and once again, he's awful as an actor!! He plays it entirely one note, he seems forced, and he has no understanding of his character. That's not hard to conceive, as very little of anything about this mess of a movie makes any sense. It seems to be about a now separate post-revolution nation, in the southern California area, that is being ruled by a fascist leader. A sleazy promoter, John Goodman, and his partner, Jessica Lange, decide to put on a televised concert to raise money for the impoverished, although they may have ulterior motives, and they track down a fallen folk music legend, Dylan, with mysterious circumstances of his own. From there, a wide bevy of rather high quality actors filter across the jumbled screen doing seemingly improvised bits that are supposed to be political satire, and are just confusing. It goes off in confusing directions in the lives of a few of them, like Penelope Cruz and her religious fanaticism, and Goodman's bad choices in business. Luke Wilson plays a musician who tries to impress everyone, especially Dylan's character, with his high level of literacy. Might have worked in another film. As Dylan plays with a band, a few moments of relief start to occur, although each song is interrupted, and it's actually no better than any concert video he may have out there. The movie almost comes alive for about a minute, as a young girl named Tinashe Kachingwe turns up to sing an accapella version of "The Times They Are A-Changin'," which is both endearing and uplifting. Just not enough to save this disaster. It had played in the trailer anyway, so if you ever see the trailer, you'll truly see all this movie has to offer. Smart move on the advertising department.
How Lillian Hellman saw the world around her, and despite personal success, was never satisfied with the injustice of it all.
A brilliantly acted masterpiece that thrives on a long time personal conflict many have with idealism versus self indulgence. Lillian Hellman, played by Jane Fonda, is unable to celebrate the thrill of her life time, success as a Broadway writer, as she looks at what's going on in the world, and attempts to ease her conscious by being drawn into European resistance by her longtime friend. Jason Robards plays Dashiell Hammett, her personal success encouragement. Vanessa Redgrave is her friend Julia, the other side of her personal dilemma. Also, the sets are exquisite. The acting is top notch.