A Mighty Wind

"Excellent"

A Mighty Wind Review


Christopher Guest's latest feature A Mighty Wind is purely and gloriously Guestian. If you've seen his last two films, Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, you know exactly what I mean by that.

For the rest of you, Guestian movies are mockumentaries that usually send up some peculiar topic (community theater, dog shows), star a troupe of the same handful of very talented comedy actors (with a heavy Second City bias), are for the most part improvised, are always directed by Christopher Guest, and are typically hilarious. Also, they all apparently have three-word titles. Yes, Guestian films follow a formula, but yet they end up being some of the most original, creative movies I ever get to see. And, A Mighty Wind, while not the best of Guest's trio of ensemble comedies, is no exception; it's definitely Guestian all the way.

Guest wrote the screenplay with longtime collaborator Eugene Levy, looking to make this third fake documentary musical (something with which Guest's familiar with both This is Spinal Tap and Guffman under his belt), which led to the curious theme: folk music, a musical genre that peaked in the '60s with groups that ranged from sweet and cooing to angry and protesting. Look out, Peter, Paul, and Mary--Guest and crew are on your case.

The plot hangs from the death of folk music impresario Irving Steinbloom. To honor his dad, Steinbloom's son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) organizes a televised reunion concert for some of Irving's once-popular acts: The Folksmen (a Tap reunion of Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer) who have a fondness for droppin' the "g" off of "-ing" titles; The New Main Street Singers (John Michael Higgins, Parker Posey, Jane Lynch), a nine-piece ("neuftet") populated by more damaged goods than a Goodwill and managed by a slimy has-been comedian (Fred Willard); and Mitch & Mickey (Levy, Catherine O'Hara) who were split as much by Mitch's nervous breakdown as by divorce. The groups reunite, and are eager to give Irving a nice send-off as well as prove that they're still relevant as performers.

The result is definitely funny, but Wind isn't quite the side-splitter its predecessors have been. It's kinder and gentler compared to the other two, and edgier is actually funnier in my book. But that's not to say there aren't laughs. Most of the big guffaws come in tasty bits from individual performances.

Willard, as the Singers' manager, is a total riot every moment he's on screen, dispensing unhelpful show biz advice, given from the point of view of a has-been best known for a weak catchphrase ("Wha' happened?"). Ed Begley, Jr. is brilliant as a Swedish-born, folk music-loving public broadcasting producer who's compelled to drop some Yiddish every time he's around a Jewish person. And Posey, while only featured in one monologue this time around, will have you in tears by the time her five minutes of screen time is up.

Bottom line, A Mighty Wind is for fans of Guestian films, even if it's not the funniest of these movies. But that's some wicked competition! Putting it in perspective, Wind will definitely be the funniest movie out in theaters this week, up against such fare as Anger Management and Bringing Down the House. It may be "formula," but Guest does some of the best formula comedy I've ever seen.

Encore!



A Mighty Wind

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th May 2003

Box Office USA: $17.5M

Distributed by: Castle Rock Entertainment

Production compaines: Castle Rock Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 151 Rotten: 21

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Jonathan Steinbloom, as Alan Barrows, as Terry Bohner, as Mitch Cohen, as Laurie Bohner, as Jerry Palter, as Mickey Crabbe, as Sissy Knox, as Mark Shubb, as Mike LaFontaine, as Wally Fenton, as Lars Olfen, as Steinbloom's Assistant, as Amber Cole

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.