Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener, to be precise, who, interestingly enough, were both in previous Kaufman efforts, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Winslet) and Being John Malkovich (Keener). The apparent musical comedy also stars Kaufman newbies Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage and Kevin Kline. Frank or Francis is said to be about a director (Carell) who becomes obsessed with the comments by a scathing online message board poster (Black) who thrashes his cinematic efforts. That’s one of the more unconventional ideas for a musical that I’ve ever heard of, but I must say my interest has been piqued, especially considering the talent involved. How can you go wrong?
Well, Charlie Kaufman hasn’t been at the helm since 2008’s tragedy, Synecdoche, New York. And when I say ‘tragedy’, I don’t mean the genre, I mean having to sit through it. It starts off promising enough, but by the end, it turns into this melodramatic exercise in futility about life and death. Obviously Kaufman has proven his worth with his previous scripts, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but he seems to have less discipline once he gets behind the camera. Let’s hope he can hit all the right notes with Frank or Francis and actually produces something wholly entertaining.[Via FirstShowing, IndieWire]