Have you ever met a fragile artist? Frank (based in part on Daniel Johnston, and Frank Sidebottom) is the most fragile member of a band of misfits and psychotics. The film begins with Jon (Domnhall Gleeson) watching as the keyboardist to a band attempts to drown himself in the Irish seacoast. Don (Scoot McNairy) then invites Jon to come play a gig with his band, the Soronprfbs. What follows is a healthy blend of zany comedy, shots at the music industry, indie bands, SXSW, and what making “real art” actually means. But Abrahamson and screenwriters Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan (the Men Who Stare at Goats) add just enough honest emotion to pull it all off.
It also helps that Michael Fassbender’s the one in the mascot-sized mask. The Soronprfbs perform all of their music live, on screen. All of the songs written by Jon were written by Domnhall Gleeson. All the rest was the brainchild of the actors, Abrahamson and composer Stephen Rennicks. Frank is an odd film for a number of reasons, but at no point is it not succeeding in its quirkiness.