Lenny Abrahamson (2013)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This strange and delightful ode to artistic expression stars Michael Fassbender - though on first look you might not even realise it. He dons a large papier-mâché head to play the title character, who's based on the now-deceased, real-life cult entertainer Frank Sidebottom, the creation of musician and comic Chris Sievey. Writer Jon Ronson draws on his own experiences as a member of Sievey's band to tell the fictional story of a young keyboardist (Domhnall Gleeson, in a finely tuned performance) who falls in with a group of nutty alt-rockers, led by the artistic genius who refuses to show his face. Gleeson builds a strong following for the band on social media, albeit in secret given that band member Maggie Gyllenhaal (on snarling form) is vehemently antisocial. Director Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul) generates plenty of laughs from the set-up, but wisely keeps the comedy understated. And despite his exaggerated, expressionless appearance, Fassbender subtly conveys the sadder elements of this story about a man whose head begins to weigh heavily on his shoulders.


Premiere. An aspiring musician gets the chance to join an avant garde band. However, he is soon out of his depth in the strange world of the group's leader, an eccentric musical genius who always conceals his face with a papier mache head and uses bizarre methods to perfect the band's sound. Comedy drama inspired by singer Frank Sidebottom, starring Domhnall Gleeson and Michael Fassbender.

Cast & Crew

Frank Michael Fassbender
Jon Burroughs Domhnall Gleeson
Clara Maggie Gyllenhaal
Don Scoot McNairy
Nana Carla Azar
Baraque François Civil
Alice Lauren Poole
Simone Hayley Derryberry
Jon's father Paul Butterworth
Frank's mom Tess Harper
Management guru Mark Huberman
Director Lenny Abrahamson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Curzon World FilmAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 9 May 2014
Drama Comedy