For Your Consideration
Winter 2007 Edge series
Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 4:00pm
Directed by Christopher Guest
Starring Harry Shearer, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Bob Balaban, Ricky Gervais, Jane Lynch, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard
Rated NR ·
Arch satirist Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show) brings more mirth to the screen, providing an inimitable take on the film industry with For Your Consideration, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of an independent movie and its cast. The film, Home for Purim, is directed by Jay Berman (played by Guest himself) and stars an aging actress at the end of her career, Marilyn Hack (Catherine O’Hara); an actor best known for starring in a hotdog ad, Victor Allen Miller (Harry Shearer); and young Callie Webb (Parker Posey), who is trying to put her Vagina Monologues-esque past (in a production called No Penis Intended) firmly behind her. As Berman and Co. attempt to bring Home for Purim to the screen, a variety of supporting players flits in and out of the movie, with Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Coolidge appearing as two very different producers, Jane Lynch and Fred Willard playing the glitzy hosts of trashy celebrity-obsessed TV show Hollywood Now, and Bob Balaban appearing as a frustrated co-writer. This motley bunch all get along just fine until an Oscar buzz surrounds certain cast members, leading to a fierce explosion of wildly different ideas and ambitions for the film.
Fans of Guest’s movies will doubtless experience a welcome familiarity in the feel of For Your Consideration. The usual deadpan wit, carefully crafted satire, and close attention to detail in everything from Fred Willard’s haircut to the computer graphics of Hollywood Now are all lovingly rendered, and Guest’s loyal troupe of performers — as well as a sprinkling of new faces — delivers the material with habitual ease. In an era when most Hollywood comedy sticks to a strict, well-trodden formula, it’s satisfying to find someone like Guest plowing a lonely furrow against the grain, and there’s enough spark in For Your Consideration to suggest he still has plenty of wit yet to bestow on his faithful audience.