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For Your Consideration (2006)
Success in Hollywood is as fragile as a rumor
Director: Christopher Guest

The possibility of Oscar gold holds the cast and crew of an independent film in its grip after the performance of its virtually unknown, veteran star generates awards buzz.

For Your Consideration (2006)

The Posey Poses

Guest has a very narrow vision, so the game is seeing the various ways he can surround it. He and all his friends are performers with at best b-list careers, and mostly less successful. They all have some talent and commitment but find themselves in a twilight of angst about performing.

What to do? Make films about this. This is the last of Guest‘s that I have seen, supposedly the least successful. It follows the same formula: episodic so that skits can be pulled from the large amount of footage shot. I believe this may be least successful because it seems to have been the most developed script.

we’ve had performing as rock stars, in a dog competition, in local theater, as a filmmaker and here most reflexively as performers waiting for some affirmation. As usual, Guest allows his actor-friends to just fill their characters however they like which presents us with a confusing set of worlds. They are all friends who believe they think alike. And they are all part of the same film, but the acting styles are all over the place. This isn’t like a Mel Brooks movie where everyone is ridiculous in exactly the same way.

You have to choose which of these is the anchor and which the parody. And it is hard work. Levy as co-writer keeps asserting himself as ground zero, but he has the least connective talent: (‘connective‘ meaning connecting to us by connecting to the fabric of the film). The most colourful choice is Catherine O‘Hara, who seems to genuinely be trying for an Oscar. She has a scene that is remarkable: the morning after learning she lost the Best Actress nomination, she is accosted while taking out the trash drunk by a gossip TeeVee journalist. The world she projects is complex and skilled, very impressive.

But I keep coming back to Parker Posey. She has little to do here, and her character is a reduction of others she has done: dependent, highly wound partner. But since ‘The House of Yes,‘ everything I see her in is an annotation of that. She has the kind of approach to acting that I recognise as the new wave: the Brando style of total commitment emotionally in the character and noticeably independent total commitment in a visible way to the art of acting.

It helps that she plays a character that inserts herself in the weak chinks in our envelopes, because it helps her wink at how she can exploit it. Her friend Jennifer Jason Leigh made a whole film around this but never achieved the crystal perfection of passive dependence in acting.

Posted in 2011

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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