This summer, Michael Fassbender will only be appearing in films that require him to wear impressive and highly unorthodox headgear. X-Men: Days Of Future Past (out June) sees him re-don Magneto’s Boba Fett-ish bucket helmet, while Frank (out May), finds him strapping a far odder item over his bonce.
Written by Jon ‘The Psychopath Test’ Ronson , and based on his experiences performing with avant-garde Mancunian comedian Frank Sidebottom, the film follows the ups and (mainly) downs of titular oddball Frank (Fassbender), an enigmatic musical virtuoso who keeps his face permanently hidden under a fake head. Domhnall Gleeson plays the Ronson character (imaginatively named ‘Jon’) – a vaguely feckless keyboardist who joins Frank’s band by accident, and becomes embroiled in an insane tour, a disastrous recording session, and an amusing love/hate relationship with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
There are – as you’d expect from a film that takes Hollywood’s hottest leading man and hides him under a giant papier-mâché mask – plenty of offbeat laughs and dark humour, but there’s also some genuinely touching and poignant moments examining the fragile nature of artistic genius. All that aside, it’s worth the ticket price alone to hear Fassbender deadpan his facial expressions from inside his mad mask: “Lips pushed together as if to say, ‘Enough frivolity’.”
Frank is at cinemas nationwide from 9 May