For Your Consideration

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/10/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Opens London Film Festival: 28th October

The acting is superb as always and there are several good laughs here, but there aren't enough of them and the film feels like a wasted opportunity.

What's it all about?
Christopher Guest and his comedy ensemble abandon their usual mock-doc format in favour of a proper narrative comedy. Catherine O'Hara and Harry Shearer play Marilyn Hack and Victor Alan Miller, two veteran actors playing the leads in low-budget melodrama Home For Purim, alongside younger up and coming actors Callie Webb (Parker Posey) and Brian Chubb (Christopher Moynihan).

Suddenly, an internet rumour kicks off a flurry of Oscar buzz and the cast and crew get incredibly excited as the gossip journalists descend. And then a studio executive (Ricky Gervais) arrives to tell them that they need to make the film less Jewish, in order to appeal to a wider audience.

The Good
O'Hara is particularly good as an actress who's given her life to Hollywood and yet never quite hit the big time and her reactions to the news are surprisingly moving. Other stand-outs include Eugene Levy's dopey agent, Jennifer Coolidge as the film's bonkers producer and, hilariously, Fred Willard and Jane Lynch as the TV gossip reporters.

The dialogue is perceptive and funny and there are some terrific lines. There are also some genuinely affecting smaller scenes, such as Posey's uncommented on chemistry with Moynihan, or the way she nails her big emotive scene.

The Bad
The main problem is that the film is never quite as funny or as caustic as it could have been and some of the scenes don't seem to have a pay-off (Gervais, for example, adds nothing to the film). In addition, it seems crazy in a film about Oscar buzz to end the film without poking fun at the ceremony itself.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is something of a wasted opportunity and feels like it could have used an extra polish, though there a several good laughs to be had.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 19/10/2019 01:32

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