Monday, December 17, 2007

For Your Consideration

Let me begin this blog by saying I'm a huge fan of Christopher Guest and his crew of mockumentarians. "Spinal Tap," "Waiting For Guffman," "Best in Show," and "A Mighty Wind" all had their strong and weak points, but all were entertaining in their own way. I eagerly anticipated their latest film, "For Your Consideration." I was profoundly disappointed. I saw it at the theater when it came out, but just watched it again last night on cable, and it reminded me how much I hated it.

Guest and his regulars always focus on some form of showbiz, but this time took it to Hollywood. No more small town musicals or musicians in the twilight of their careers. "For Your Consideration" is about the shooting of a small movie about a Jewish family, called "Home For Purum." The cast is full of no-names and has-beens, but a buzz about possible Oscar nominations sets the cast into a flurry. The cast starts getting freaked out about the recognition, and the media starts to pay attention to the film. It culminates when the Oscar nominations come out, and we see what happens to those who were slighted.

There are a few good gags here, but none of them by the main characters (with exception of one great, but sad visual gag late in the movie). That's a bad sign. I think the worst part of this movie, though, is the hopelessness it inspires. The previous Guest movies all had an affection for their luckless, sometimes pathetic characters. This movie has seemingly nothing but spite. In his previous films, the characters disappointment is always tempered with either their positive attitudes, or development that hints something positive is soon to come. This movie has none of that, ending with all the main characters sinking into professional and personal hell. The final scene typefies this.

Catherine O'Hara's character has spent the entire movie desperate for validation, eventually getting radical plastic surgery in the hopes of a career boost. But when it doesn't happen for her, she ends up teaching young actors. She gives an incoherent speech about how happy she is, clearly miserable... saying how the only way she can be comfortable in her own skin is to expunge everything within. It's depressing. I feel like Christopher Guest was saying to the shallow Hollywod types "Fuck you, you're pathetic." While they may deserve it, that sentiment doesn't necessarily translate into a funny, heartfelt movie.

I give "For Your Consideration" 0 Oscar nominations.

1 comment:

Midge said...
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