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I'm Not There (2007)

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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 »
4,002 ( 453)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »



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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, 25 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?


Of the 6 leads or "Dylans" in the film, only young Marcus Carl Franklin (as "Woody") can be heard on the soundtrack. However, singer/actors Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jim James and Richie Havens also both act in the movie and on the soundtrack. See more »


The phone at the Peacocks house is too modern for the time - the cord going into the handset had a clip in cord versus being attached directly to the piece. 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 »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.16 (2016) 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

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User Reviews

A Chaotic Masterpiece Embodying Bob Dylan
25 May 2008 | by DaveDigglerSee all my reviews

Todd Haynes has created a biopic so different than the norm that it's assuredly going to be bashed for not meeting the everyday standards of the everyday movies with the everyday formulaic narratives. Like Bob Dylan, Haynes never once backs away from what he tries to accomplish- change, chaos, and ambiguity. This film is Bob Dylan. The themes, settings, look, pacing, characters, chaos, ambiguity, contradictions, and for the fact that this never once tries to explain who Dylan is or why he is the way he was is so fitting it's hard to imagine a biopic on Dylan done any differently. This is a bold film done in a fresh and unique way. This isn't the usual "Walk The Line" or "Ray" type singer-biopic (Which are excellent films in their own right) where you have one great performance surrounded by the life and times, the highs and lows, and then the conquering of life's obstacles. When you watch those films, you know where we start and how we finish before the movie even starts. You just enjoy the journey. "I'm Not There" baffles, confuses, lies, contradicts, and makes you question everything. We never know where we're going, who we're going to meet, or what time and person we'll end up with. Haynes doesn't have one person recreate Dylan as Dylan was. He relies on six actors and actresses to play parts of the enigma that we know as Bob Dylan.

Haynes style is magnificent; the music is engrossing; the acting is on point from every actor in the film with award worthy performances scattered throughout; the cinematography was excellent; the writing superior to most of this decade and the editing was excellent. We never once feel we're at one place with one character for too long, or we jump into one life unexpectedly where it feels forced. Gere's part seems out of left field and it completely is, but when we're there we learn just as much about Dylan than we have with any character. Blanchett, Ledger, and Bale are the three standouts. Blanchett will get most of the praise because she embodies Dylan's psychedelic, far out trips, flamboyant behavior, and his eagerness to rebel, question, and change. Ledger gives one of his best performances during a marriage that is falling apart due to infidelity and long lasting time away as he plays Robbie Clark- a young, up and coming actor. Christian Bale plays Jack Rollins. When Rollins pops up it's through a documentary like form. We're watching a movie within a movie about one of the characters. Not only is that unique, but Robbie Clark (Heath Ledger) plays Jack Rollins is a movie called "Grain of Sand." During the in-movie documentary on the life of Jack Rollins we learn about his past experiences and how he came to become an evangelical preacher. All three actors have the most intriguing parts of the film that just suck you in and stay with you long after you see them. Blanchett deserved the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She's fantastic and gives one of her best performances as she's quickly building a resume that most actresses can't touch, but Bale and Ledger are both equally impressive.

The intertwining stories are done so well and stay so true to the man that Dylan was makes "I'm Not There" one of the best films of the year. The constantly changing themes, looks and colors of the film embody Dylan's appearances to perfection. The six characters embody Dylan's schizophrenic like changing of personalities. The historical backdrops used in the film are important and relevant to the times and characters as they add depth and perception to the character's lives. Todd Haynes has created a work that should only get better and more revered as time goes by because we just don't come across films such as this in any time period. Haynes has created a gem to be proud of and a gem that Dylan should be proud of.

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