Christopher Moynihan

Christopher Moynihan

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For Your Consideration Review


Weak
Anyone who watched last year's Oscar ceremony surely had to take a deep breath of exhaustion at what became the culmination of a solid decade of congratulating mediocrity. In the last two decades, Hollywood has offered up more self-deprecation, but it doesn't come close to its flabbergasting self-congratulation, and Oscar is a big part of that. The last time the Academy awarded the best film of the corresponding year was 1993, when it dutifully handed the little gold man to Clint Eastwood's unflinching revisionist western, Unforgiven. So, who better to attack this institute of imbecility than comic revisionist Christopher Guest? As it turns out, For Your Consideration isn't quite the snappy attack dog one might have hoped for. In fact, it comes on with the ferocity of a mildly-disgruntled schnauzer.

It begins with director Jay Berman (Guest, doing the Jewish thing) and his film, Home for Purim, a family drama about a young woman's return home to a dying mother. The mother in question is played by Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara), a washed-up aging actress who is best known for playing a blind prostitute in another film. Through the wonders of the internet, she gets wind of a rumor that she might be nominated for an Academy Award. Shortly after, Victor Allan Miller (the invaluable Harry Shearer), the male lead, gets hint of a nomination for his performance, along with Callie Webb (Parker Posey), who plays the daughter. The buzz makes life sweeter, and inevitably more complicated, for everyone involved, including Callie's boyfriend and co-star Brian (Christopher Moynihan), Victor's agent (Eugene Levy), and the producer (riotous Jennifer Coolidge). It also brings out studio heads (Ricky Gervais and Larry Miller), the PR guy (John Michael Higgins), and two Hollywood news anchors (Fred Willard and Jane Lynch) to make the film more palatable.

Continue reading: For Your Consideration Review

For Your Consideration Review


Weak
Anyone who watched last year's Oscar ceremony surely had to take a deep breath of exhaustion at what became the culmination of a solid decade of congratulating mediocrity. In the last two decades, Hollywood has offered up more self-deprecation, but it doesn't come close to its flabbergasting self-congratulation, and Oscar is a big part of that. The last time the Academy awarded the best film of the corresponding year was 1993, when it dutifully handed the little gold man to Clint Eastwood's unflinching revisionist western, Unforgiven. So, who better to attack this institute of imbecility than comic revisionist Christopher Guest? As it turns out, For Your Consideration isn't quite the snappy attack dog one might have hoped for. In fact, it comes on with the ferocity of a mildly-disgruntled schnauzer.

It begins with director Jay Berman (Guest, doing the Jewish thing) and his film, Home for Purim, a family drama about a young woman's return home to a dying mother. The mother in question is played by Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara), a washed-up aging actress who is best known for playing a blind prostitute in another film. Through the wonders of the internet, she gets wind of a rumor that she might be nominated for an Academy Award. Shortly after, Victor Allan Miller (the invaluable Harry Shearer), the male lead, gets hint of a nomination for his performance, along with Callie Webb (Parker Posey), who plays the daughter. The buzz makes life sweeter, and inevitably more complicated, for everyone involved, including Callie's boyfriend and co-star Brian (Christopher Moynihan), Victor's agent (Eugene Levy), and the producer (riotous Jennifer Coolidge). It also brings out studio heads (Ricky Gervais and Larry Miller), the PR guy (John Michael Higgins), and two Hollywood news anchors (Fred Willard and Jane Lynch) to make the film more palatable.

Continue reading: For Your Consideration Review

A Mighty Wind Review


Weak

Writer-director Christopher Guest -- king of the mockumentary genre -- returns to his musical oddball roots in "A Mighty Wind," a "This Is Spinal Tap" for the 1960s folk-pop crowd.

As amusingly deadpan as 2000's dog-show-spoofing "Best In Show" and 1997's community-theater send-up "Waiting for Guffman" -- and featuring many of the same actors -- Guest's new film is similarly quirky, ironic and inexplicably endearing as it follows the preparations for a big concert featuring the reunions of several aging, corny, melodiously mellow fictional folk bands that were never as harmonious off stage as they were on.

It's a picture packed with wonderfully pokerfaced performances from the likes of Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Bob Balaban, Fred Willard, Parker Posey and Guest himself -- most of whom play washed-up but unnervingly (sometimes unnaturally) chipper singer-songwriters. It features a steady stream of Guest's hilarious non-sequiturs (references to Shetland pony polo leagues and a low-budget record label that saved money by not putting holes in the center of its LPs) that are sure to please fans of his other flippant flicks.

Continue reading: A Mighty Wind Review

Christopher Moynihan

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