For Your Consideration

"OK"

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

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.