I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007) is an entrancing movie. Cate Blanchett is a fine actor. As one of the six Dylans—“Jude Quinn,” the star at his shimmering, recalcitrant zenith—Blanchett hazards a daring performance, peaking in the Fellini-dreaming encounter with David Cross’s Allen Ginsberg.
Many viewers and reviewers rehearsed a familiar anxiety about Todd Haynes’s fantasia on Bob Dylan, I’m Not There. How much do you have to know, going in, to be an ideal viewer of this film? Do you have be a lifelong fan, a Dylan-ologist, a child of the 1960s? A student of semiotics, as the director once was?