Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) fancies himself as a musician, though his pitiful efforts at song writing don’t suggest a stadium tour is on the cards for him anytime soon, his limited talent unlikely to provide an escape from the day job and suburban drudgery. Yet, in a twist of fate that sets the tone for a bizarre adventure, Jon is given a gig playing keyboards for an eccentric band with an unpronounceable name, making peculiar, improvised music under the direction of leader Frank (Michael Fassbender), an enigmatic savant who wears a giant fake head. Secluded in a country cabin attempting to record an album, personal and creative tensions within the band force the individuals to confront their reasons for making music at all. Inspired by the exploits of Frank Sidebottom and based on Jon Ronson’s autobiographical writing, the latest film from Lenny Abrahamson deftly combines comedy and pathos to create a glorious, heartfelt paean to outsiders.

Notes by Michael Hayden.

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