Movie Review/Interview: Dir. Lenny Abrahamson On ‘Frank,’ Michael Fassbender & Music


Preston Barta // Editor

FRANK | 95 min. | Rated R | Director: Lenny Abrahamson | Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, François Civil and Scoot McNairy

Filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson and Frank attend the FRANK Premiere after party hosted by DIRECTV.

Filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson and Frank attend the FRANK Premiere after party hosted by DIRECTV.

Based on late British comedian Chris Sievey‘s iconic comedy character Frank Sidebottom, FRANK is one of the single most downright wacky and deranged films that you will ever come across. However, it’s a terrific character-driven piece about music and collaboration.

The offbeat comedy stars Domhnall Gleeson (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 & 2), who plays Jon, a wannabe musician who finds himself out of his depth when he joins a pop band headed by the enigmatic Frank (an excellent Michael Fassbender).

We sat down with the director of FRANK, Lenny Abrahamson (GARAGE, 2007), at the InterContinental Hotel in Austin, where the film had its regional premiere at the South by Southwest film festival back in March. We talked about how social media changed the film industry, discovering Fassbender’s voice as the title character and teaching college courses.

How social media changed the film industry

The origin of Michael Fassbender’s voice in FRANK

How music influenced the story

Comparing the tone of FRANK to FXX’s WILFRED (apologies for the sirens)

If he could teach a college course

FRANK opens today.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.