Directed By: Lenny Abrahamson

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy, and Michael Fassbender

This isn't the first time I've said this, but 2014 has been a tame year at the movies.  It's not just the fact that we've had fewer high quality movies, but we just haven't had the same level of weird inventiveness.  We don't have filmmakers this year going for it all regardless of how strangely their final product may appear to moviegoers.  We haven't had the next Seven Psychopaths, Short Term 12, Spring Breakers, or even Killer Joe this year.  Some of the weirder movies in cinematic history can and have invigorated moviegoers, and it's about time we have some in 2014.  This weekend's Frank may be a step in the right direction.

Though he aspires to be a famous, beloved songwriter and keyboardist someday, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) is an ordinary rat racing through the maze of life.  His pathetic attempts at songwriting have led to atrocious lyrics like "Little Boxes Take Me Away" and "Red Coat, Blue Coat".  Everything changes for Jon one day, however, when he meets Don (Scoot McNairy), the manager for the band SORONPRFBS.  Amidst a body of endless rolling waves at the beach, the band's keyboardist attempts to commit suicide.  With opportunity knocking, Jon joins the band.

The band rents a cabin in Ireland to begin recording a studio album.  As Jon gets to know the members of SORONPRFBS, he realizes that he's the lowest man on the totem pole.  Though Don is friendly, the other band members aren't quite as welcoming.  Most noticeably, Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) makes it abundantly clear that she hates his guts.  The only exception to this is Frank (Michael Fassbender), the band's leader.  A rather unique individual, Frank bizarrely wears a large papier-mâché head at all times.  Curious about someone who would choose to do such a thing, Jon focuses on getting to know Frank.  Meanwhile, Jon secretly posts his adventures with the band on Twitter and YouTube.

Frank is undoubtedly one quirky movie.  From the zany premise to the hypnotic music, there's an eccentricity that pulsates throughout the film.  It's a joyous film that's unpredictably funny and taps into the inner nutcase in us all.  I have to give director Lenny Abrahamson credit for bringing tons of creativity, originality, and fun to the production.  It's a relentlessly inventive film that somehow manages to oscillate between frivolity and seriousness with ease.  At the same time, it's an underhanded critique of the music industry of today in which artists fail to push the boundaries and find a new sound.  All in all, Frank is one surprising delight.

With its crazy cast of characters, Frank proves one thing.  There's a thin line between genius and insanity.  For his part as the film's titular character Frank, Michael Fassbender shows us a side we never knew he had.  With roles in Shame, Prometheus, and 12 Years a Slave over the last several years, he's shown off his dramatic acting chops.  As Frank, however, Fassbender shows his lighter comedic side.  What's more impressive is that he manages to do so without showing his face for the vast majority of the film.  He brings so much fun energy to the film through voice acting and expressive body language.  For her part as Clara, Maggie Gyllenhaal brings a violent, subdued beauty to the film.  She has this symbiotic relationship with Fassbender on screen that just clicks.  She balances out the craziness of Frank quite well.  As Don, Scoot McNairy deftly gives us a creepy loser trying to mask a bubbling bitterness with SORONPRFBS and life in general.  Lastly, we have Domhnall Gleeson who portrays our star Jon.  The About Time star is the sanest of the bunch and brings humor to the film by just being a normal guy in this crazy, crazy world of characters.

Frank is a solidly entertaining film that does not disappoint.  With an outrageous premise and a colorful cast of characters, the film will push you to your furthest corners.  Frank gets a 0.03% rating.  Have some wine coolers with this one.