5.5/10
4,257
98 user 50 critic

Masked and Anonymous (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 8 August 2003 (Canada)
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A singer, whose career has gone on a downward spiral, is forced to make a comeback to the performance stage for a benefit concert.

Director:

Larry Charles

Writers:

Bob Dylan (as Sergei Petrov), Larry Charles (as Rene Fontaine)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Dylan ... Jack Fate
Jeff Bridges ... Tom Friend
Penélope Cruz ... Pagan Lace
John Goodman ... Uncle Sweetheart
Jessica Lange ... Nina Veronica
Luke Wilson ... Bobby Cupid
Angela Bassett ... Mistress
Steven Bauer ... Edgar
Michael Paul Chan ... Guard
Bruce Dern ... Editor
Ed Harris ... Oscar Vogel
Val Kilmer ... Animal Wrangler
Cheech Marin ... Prospero
Chris Penn ... Crew Guy #2
Giovanni Ribisi ... Soldier
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Storyline

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 <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Are you humble before God? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language and brief violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Monolith [Poland] | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 2003 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

A Máscara do Anonimato See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,783, 27 July 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$533,344, 14 December 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Bob Dylan's first scene, where he is released from prison, he is wearing a wig. He liked it so much that he continued to wear it for various occasions, including his appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in August 2002. See more »

Goofs

When Jack Fate threatens Tom Friend with a broken whiskey bottle, in the next shot, the bottle he holds in his hand and drops on the ground is actually an unbroken bottle. See more »

Quotes

Jack Fate: Some of us pursue perfection and virtue and if we're lucky, we catch up to it. But happiness can't be pursued. It either comes to your or it don't. You can always say, "if only this and if only that", but if only is a state of mind that we get into when we feel deprived.
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Alternate Versions

Laura Harring appeared in early versions of the film (including the cut which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival) playing a character called 'The Lady in Red'. However, her scenes were cut from the theatrical release version. See more »

Connections

References The Big Lebowski (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

I Put a Spell On You
Words and Music by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Performed by John Goodman
Courtesy of Unart Music Corporation
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User Reviews

Poetically creative
8 October 2003 | by jackfate00See all my reviews

I had read so many bad reviews of this movie. I'd read it was impossible to follow; I'd read that the dialogue was banal; Roger Ebert gave it half a star, claiming it was too ambiguous. So, when I saw Masked & Anonymous, I was prepared for the worse.

Instead, as soon as the movie began, and that Spanish Version of My Back Pages started playing to bomb explosions and imagery of a future gone wrong, I realize: I'm going to like this movie.

First, the plot, far too incredible to really explain here (And it sort of depends on your point of view anyways) is very creative in that it conveys an incredible amount of symbolism. On one hand, this is a movie that mocks rock music (Think of the scene where Uncle Sweetheart tells Fate "You're gonna play rock and roll get rich launch your career and bring world peace all at the same time!") On the other hand, this could be Dylan's way of telling us who he really is. "Maybe I'm just a singer and nothing more" he tells us. He's tired of being made to be a counter cultural liberal protester. He's tired of people who think he only writes anti-war songs. Think of the scene where a woman brings her daughter to see Dylan. When Dylan learns that the little girl knows all his lyrics he asks "What'd she do that for?" And the mother quickly responds "Because I made her." This movie is about so many things: You just have to see it and every time you see it again you'll see more.

Concerning the dialogue. Many people say the dialogue is contrived, banal, or mindlessly poetic. To such people I reccomend they read Shakespeare (He's in the alley). Dylan has been hailed as a modern Shakespeare, so it is not wonder that this movie has the same beautiful poetry that his songs do.

But I will grant this: Bad actors would never be able to pull off this script. And this was probably the movie's strongest feature: Incredible acting. John Goodman deserves an Emmy for his portrayal of the scheming Uncle Sweetheart. Val Kilmer shocked me with his ability to portray the crazed Animal Wrangler. Jessica Lange gave the best performance of her career. The list goes on... Mickey Rourke, Ed Harris, Christian Slater, all surprised me with brilliant acting.

If you have the chance to see this movie, just once, do so. And forgive its few shortcomings-- it was made on short notice, and its messages were meant to transcend all imperfections for movie rookie director Larry Charles. This movie will probably be forgotten one day, which is unfortunate, because rarely is a movie this original.


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