[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/m_not_there_3047.jpg]][[caption-width-right:200:Confused yet?]]


->''"People are always talking about freedom. Freedom to live a certain way, without being kicked around. Course the more you live a certain way, the less it feels like freedom. Me, uhm, I can change during the course of a day. I wake and I'm one person, when I go to sleep I know for certain I'm somebody else. I don't know who I am most of the time. It's like you got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room. There's no telling what can happen."''
--> -- '''Billy the Kid''' (Closing Narration)

'''''I'm Not There''''' is a 2007 biopic--[[MindScrew sort of]]--based on the life of BobDylan. Directed by Creator/ToddHaynes, the film uses 5 different actors (and [[CateBlanchett one actress]]) to portray him; all playing Dylan at different roles in his life.

* Woody Guthrie (Marcus Carl Franklin) is a black 11-year old boy traveling across America trying to find his place. He represents Dylan's MysteriousPast and lies. His name comes from Dylan's idol, Woody Guthrie.
* Jack Rollins (Creator/ChristianBale) represents Dylan's folk era. Done in the style of a documentary looking back, it chronicles Rollins' rise to fame and his ultimate disillusion with it. Jack later becomes Pastor John, showing Dylan's exploration into Christianity.
* Jude Quinn (Creator/CateBlanchett) is Dylan in his rock stage: abrasive, fragile, and drug-addicted. Haynes wanted the role to be played by a woman to capture Dylan's felineness in this period of his life.
* Robbie Clark (Creator/HeathLedger) is a [[MindScrew film star that plays Jack Rollins in the film Grain of Sand]]. However, this section focuses mainly on his relationship with Claire. He displays Dylan's attitude in relationships and his misogyny.
* Billy the Kid (Richard Gere) is an outlaw in the bush - the little town of Riddle. He represents Dylan in our times.
* Arthur Rimbaud (Creator/BenWhishaw) seems to be in a court scene. Not really having a storyline of his own, he pops in and out throughout the film with small sections of script - mostly actual Dylan quotes. Named for the poet.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AnachronicOrder: The Dylans are introduced in chronological order, but thereafter the film jumps between them.
* ArcWords: "Freedom."
* {{Bishonen}}: Creator/BenWhishaw as Arthur Rimbaud certainly qualifies, and if I'm not mistaken, [[BiFauxnen Jude Quinn]] does too.
* CaptainErsatz / NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The Dylans obviously, but other characters count too, such as Alice Fabian (Joan Baez), Coco Rivington (Edie Sedgwick), and Sara (who is a CompositeCharacter of Dylan's wives/girlfriends). Interestingly enough, the one celebrity who ''isn't'' disguised in some way is Allen Ginsberg, [[WTHCasting played by David Cross]].
* ChekhovsGun: Woody's guitar.
* CloudCuckooLander: Jude Quinn, big time. Deconstructed, of course, as he is in fact a very erudite and intelligent person, but his drugs and alcohol abuse, and his mainly jerkass attitude, has left him as a really fried mad artist. This is true for the mid-60s Dylan, as he was constantly using drugs and going to clubs, and meeting people like Edie (Andy Warhol's diva), and Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, and The Beatles.
* CrosscastRole: Creator/CateBlanchett as Jude Quinn.
* {{Dedication}}: To director Todd Haynes' late editor Jim Lyons.
* FauxDocumentary: The [[Creator/ChristianBale Jack Rollins]] story.
* FilmWithinAFilm: The in-universe {{Biopic}} ''Grain of Sand'' stars [[HeathLedger Robbie Clark]] as [[Creator/ChristianBale Jack Rollins]].
* FramingDevice: Several, including Rimbaud's court scene, the funeral home, and the train.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: After Jude hangs with--and turns on--"John Paul and George" ([[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed a.k.a.]] Music/TheBeatles), the latter group exits with their fans chasing them (a la ''Film/AHardDaysNight'').
* GainaxEnding
* TheGhost: Arthur Rimbaud's interrogators.
* InsufferableGenius: Jude Quinn has shades of this.
* InTheStyleOf: The Jude Quinn segment is directed in the style of [[Creator/FedericoFellini Fellini's]] Film/EightAndAHalf
** the Robbie Clark segment was inspired by the films of Jean-Luc Godard
** Richard Gere's was shot in the style of SamPeckinpah's "hippie westerns" of the 1960s. Don't forget that Dylan appeared in Peckinpah's ''PatGarrettAndBillyTheKid'', besides composing "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
* JerkAss: Jude Quinn
* MindScrew
* MisaimedFandom: An in-universe example, as the Black Panthers use Quinn/Dylan's song ''Ballad of a Thin Man'' as a rallying cry for their cause. This is TruthInTelevision.
* RecursiveReality: Jack Rollins is the "real life" version of Jude Quinn (as evidenced by his appearance in "her" yearbook). The story featuring Billy the Kid is implied to take place within the mind of Jude Quinn, too (Pat Garret is [[ActingForTwo played by the same actor]] who plays the British reporter who harasses Jude/Jack). [[spoiler: Accentuated in the end when Billy the Kid finds Woody Guthrie's guitar on the boxcar train.]]
* Retraux
* ShoutOut: Contains various ones to Dylan's life and work, some more subtle than others.
* SweetOnPollyOliver: Cate Blanchett. Period.
* TitledAfterTheSong: A previously-unreleased Dylan tune that--until this movie--existed only in bootleg form.
* UnreliableNarrator: Woody in particular, but practically the whole movie counts as one.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: The movie understandably is loaded with Bob Dylan references, some more subtle than others. It takes an absolute expert to get them all.
* WhatMightHaveBeen: Colin Farrell was originally cast as Robbie Clark, but had to be replaced by HeathLedger after the former checked himself into rehab.
** Originally it was pitched with a seventh Dylan, to be told as a silent movie.
* WildMassGuessing: The movie portrays all interpretations of Dylan's music as this.
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