236 user 229 critic

I'm Not There (2007)

1:08 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work.


Todd Haynes


Todd Haynes (screenplay), Oren Moverman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,175 ( 532)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale
Safe (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An affluent and unexceptional homemaker in the suburbs develops multiple chemical sensitivity.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Julianne Moore, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris
Poison (1991)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A boy shoots his father and flies out the window. A man falls in love with a fellow inmate in prison. A doctor accidentally ingests his experimental sex serum, wrecking havoc on the community.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell, Susan Norman
Dottie Gets Spanked (TV Short 1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An artistic six-year-old boy in 1960s America is obsessed with The Dotty Show. His father is concerned about the show's queering influence, especially the boy's fascination with a spanking scene.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: J. Evan Bonifant, Barbara Garrick, Julie Halston
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert
Wonderstruck (2017)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Tells the tale of two children separated by fifty years. In 1927, Rose searches for the actress whose life she chronicles in her scrapbook; in 1977, Ben runs away from home to find his father.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams
Short | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Karen Carpenter's battle with anorexia nervosa and the cultural influence of the Carpenters in the 70s.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Merrill Gruver, Michael Edwards, Melissa Brown
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Divorced single mom Mildred Pierce decides to open a restaurant business, which tears at the already-strained relationship with her ambitious elder daughter, Veda.

Stars: Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood
Old Joy (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two old pals reunite for a camping trip in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.

Director: Kelly Reichardt
Stars: Daniel London, Will Oldham, Tanya Smith
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Over the summer, a series of unfortunate happening triggers a financial crisis for a young woman and she soon finds her life falling apart.

Director: Kelly Reichardt
Stars: Michelle Williams, Lucy, David Koppell
Carol (2015)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
Candy (2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A poet falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle -- and his love of heroin. Hooked as much on one another as they are on the drug, their relationship alternates between states of oblivion, self-destruction, and despair.

Director: Neil Armfield
Stars: Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush


Cast overview, first billed only:
Cate Blanchett ... Jude
Ben Whishaw ... Arthur
Christian Bale ... Jack / Pastor John
Richard Gere ... Billy
Marcus Carl Franklin ... Woody / Chaplin Boy
Heath Ledger ... Robbie
Kris Kristofferson ... Narrator (voice)
Don Francks ... Hobo Joe
Roc LaFortune ... Hobo Moe
Larry Day ... Government Agent
Paul Cagelet ... Carny / Bell-Hop
Brian R.C. Wilmes Brian R.C. Wilmes ... Circus Man (as Brian RC Wilmes)
Pierre-Alexandre Fortin ... Gorgeous George
Richie Havens ... Old Man Arvin
Tyrone Benskin ... Mr. Arvin


Six incarnations of Bob Dylan: an actor, a folk singer, an electrified troubadour, Rimbaud, Billy the Kid, and Woody Guthrie. Put Dylan's music behind their adventures, soliloquies, interviews, marriage, and infidelity. Recreate 1960s documentaries in black and white. Put each at a crossroads, the artist becoming someone else. Jack, the son of Ramblin' Jack Elliott, finds Jesus; handsome Robbie falls in love then abandons Claire. Woody, a lad escaped from foster care, hobos the U.S. singing; Billy awakes in a valley threatened by a six-lane highway; Rimbaud talks. Jude, booed at Newport when he goes electric, fences with reporters, pundits, and fans. He won't be classified. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All I Can Do Is Be Me Whoever That Is

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Germany | Canada | USA



Release Date:

7 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I'm Not There See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$730,819, 22 November 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Black and White (partly)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the first film starring Christian Bale & Heath Ledger together before The Dark Knight (2008) in which Christian Bale played The Batman & Heath Ledger played The Joker See more »


During the Los Angeles home sequences, Claire's/Robbie's telephone number has a 310 area code, which was introduced November 2, 1991. The area code should be 213. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: There he lies. God rest his soul, and his rudeness. A devouring public can now share the remains of his sickness, and his phone numbers. There he lay: poet, prophet, outlaw, fake, star of electricity. Nailed by a peeping tom, who would soon discover...
Jude: A poem is like a naked person...
  • even the ghost was more than one person.

Arthur: ...but a song is something that walks by itself.
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Non-Linear Narratives in Movies (2015) See more »


I'm Not There
Performed by Sonic Youth
Written by Bob Dylan
Produced by Sonic Youth and John Agnello
Published by Dwarf Music (SESAC)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

I'm Not There
6 January 2008 | by jazzpiano-See all my reviews

I saw this yesterday at my local art-house cinema, with my grandparents who were young when Bob Dylan was 'big' (is my lack of knowledge about Dylan already showing? Oh dear), and I have to say, I'm glad I was there - even if Bob Dylan wasn't.

The much-publicised, overly re-hashed concept driving the film is this: Dylan is portrayed by six actors of different races, ages and genders, none of whom are named Dylan, but represent aspects of his personality and life story. Every art-house buff will squeal at this delightfully off-kilter concept (well, except that it's been done before) - but never used so cleverly I'll admit. But, the cleverness of the concept only remains clever if it is executed well. This is where most people have a problem with the film.

Most of what you may have read in reviews is correct. The film is challenging, borderline plot-less (unless you are generally acquainted with Dylan's life) and seems muddled (again, only if you don't have a general knowledge of his life). For anyone who can't grasp the basic, "each actor represents a stage etc." concept, this film will be lost on them completely... because it gets even more complicated! The film is so layered, with hidden in-jokes, and snippets of real quotes from songs and interviews with Dylan used as dialogue, and story lines within story lines. A great example is Heath Ledger's character: Ledger (an actor), plays an actor, playing Jack Rollins in a biopic, who is the representation of folk-singer-Dylan (a stage). An actor in a biopic playing an actor in a biopic about a singer representing Bob Dylan played by an actor in a biopic. The self-parody is just hilarious in this film.

To add to these 'layers', each actor's "stage" that they represent is filmed in a distinctive cinematic style, for example, the Cate Blanchett as Jude Quinn representing Bob Dylan sequence is shot in lush black and white. Haynes relishes this opportunity to show off, and he does. The film is stylistically stimulating, even if it does drag sometimes for ignoramuses like me who know literally nothing about Bob Dylan.

For those questioning the film's intentions as a biopic, I should think it was really obvious! The opening credits give a huge clue, as the main title comes up in stages: "I", "He", "I'm he", "I'm her", "Not her", "Not here", "I'm not there".

The film is like a dream: you come out of it with this vague (exact details in the film are scarce) and vivid impression of Dylan's personality, without learning anything. The title is certainly relevant - Haynes' actually conceals Dylan in this film! This biopic is conventional in the way it still presents a chronological life story if you arrange it all together and remember the actors represent one person, but it is different in the way it doesn't try to make a real person into a character for a film. This is really the only way to represent someone - by not.

This film is composed of stories and individual representations and metaphors that describe a person's life, their attitudes at points in time and aspects of their personality, but gives us nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So, if you're ready to put the level of effort and concentration required to appreciate and maybe like the film, go for it. But I was not prepared for this film and I wish I'd read a biography before I saw it. That said, not knowing anything did help in a way, as after we had several questions about events in the film and their basis in reality. After all, the trailer had told us that stories were exaggerated, fictionalised, imagined and true. It inspired me enough to look him up on Wikipedia (I know, such dedication!).

The performances are all generally good. Blanchett, Bale and Franklin impressed me the most. Blanchett only falls short because of her voice, but she has the accent correct, and she can't change her voice that much! She became more believable as the film progressed. Charlotte Gainsbourg is also quietly moving in her role as the neglected wife of Ledger's character.

My final opinion is that the film is well executed, but only once you've had time to ruminate on it, research Dylan and hear the director's thoughts on his own work. I read a great deal of reviews as well that helped me to understand (not that I didn't like the film initially; I liked it after I saw it anyway). Appreciation builds the more I learn about the film and the intricate connections between it and it's un-subject.

That said, should a film be this much hard work just to like? Not for some people, but for others, the effort is worth it. It does eventually pay off, but it's exhausting.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 236 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed