Stars: Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, PenÃ©lope Cruz
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 106 minutes
Masked and Anonymous is a mesmerizing experiment in surreal drama with lyrical content, a cinematic approximation of an epic Bob Dylan song on the order of "Desolation Row." Not coincidentally, Dylan is a co-writer and star of this 2003 film, playing an enigmatic folk-rocker named Jack Fate, a political prisoner in an unnamed, civil war-torn country. Set free to headline a benefit concert organized by an unscrupulous promoter (John Goodman) and television executive (Jessica Lange), Jack embarks on a fateful journey through a battle-scarred land. Taken literally, Masked and Anonymous proves bewildering, even exasperating, but as a feverish act of unrestrained political satire the film has a lot to offer, including some of the best recent performances by Goodman, Lange, Jeff Bridges (as a cynical journalist), Val Kilmer (a babbling prophet), Luke Wilson (a musician), and Giovanni Ribisi (a haunted soldier). Dylan himself proves a stiff cipher, but fun to watch. --Tom Keogh
I was always a singer and maybe no more then that. Sometimes it's not enough to know the meaning of things, sometimes we have to know what things don't mean as well. Like what does it mean to not know what the person you love is capable of? Things fall apart, especially all the neat order of rules and laws. The way we look at the world is the way we really are. See it from a fair garden and everything looks cheerful. Climb to a higher plateau and you'll see plunder and murder. Truth and beauty are in the eye of the beholder. I stopped trying to figure everything out a long time ago.