For Your Consideration

"Weak"

For Your Consideration Review


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.

Guest's stylistic shift here from his usual mockumentary to a normal narrative structure results in a transitional film. The lack of personal time with the characters distances them from the audience. Guest's cavalcade of miscreants has been proven incredibly adept at bringing out the humor and the humanity in their pleasantly flawed characters for three films straight. However, For Your Consideration's targets seem to be misplaced: He's mocking the actors and actresses that are duped into believing they are going to be overnight celebrities rather than the studios and media circus that manipulate them and the system to turn a bigger profit. Rarely has a film seemed so confidently condescending to its characters. Rather than seeing the mortal foolishness in the actors, we only see their preening egotism flourishing after the nomination whispers. It makes the film seem cruel and cold towards characters that are simply human, and it's out of place for Guest.

That's not to say that Guest's troupe have lost their knack for making people laugh. Their skills at improv seem as sharp and keen as ever, with special kudos to Coolidge and Higgins who steal scenes with venerable glee. The usually dependable Levy (who co-wrote the script) takes a more direct route than in the last two films, leaving his character struggling for laughs. O'Hara, per usual, can't help but be funny and seems to really understand Hack (perfect name, by the way) for the first half of the film. Newfound Guest supporter Gervais isn't given enough screen time, but he still brings springy humor to his scenes, along with Willard and Lynch, who nail their characters with noteworthy shallowness. The spirit of comic bravado can still be felt underneath, but the film is undeniably flawed, almost fatally. Award-worthy it ain't.

Take 57.



For Your Consideration

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd November 2006

Box Office USA: $5.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $5.5M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Warner Independent Pictures

Production compaines: Shangri-La Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Fresh: 81 Rotten: 79

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Marilyn Hack, as Studio Gate Guard, as Sandy Lane, as Morley Orfkin, as Victor Allan Miller, as Whitney Taylor Brown, as Callie Webb, as Cindy, as Chuck, as Corey Taft, as Junior Agent, as Martin Gibb, as Hate It Film Critic, as Mary Pat Hooligan, as Philip Koontz, as Lane Iverson


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

No Escape Movie Review

No Escape Movie Review

One of the strongest action thrillers in recent years, this gripping movie cleverly casts actors...

Ricki and the Flash Movie Review

Ricki and the Flash Movie Review

Meryl Streep is having so much fun playing an ageing rocker that the audience only...

The Transporter Refuelled Movie Review

The Transporter Refuelled Movie Review

Like James Bond, wilfully anonymous driver Frank Martin is reborn as a new actor without...

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Advertisement
Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Advertisement