Monday, December 04, 2006

For Your Consideration

We have decided to take the opportunity of late to do the things people not in rehearsal for shows do--things we can afford ourselves for the next week or so--during their "free" time. Like so see the occasional movie. This weekend we ventured forth to Potomac Yards (and if you must pick one stadium style theatre in Arlington to go to, make it Potomac Yards and not the assy, crapulent den of retardation in the smegma canyon known as Ballston) to see For Your Consideration.

Christopher Guest has been unleashing an ever larger troupe of comedic actors at various topics over the years (adding Ricky Gervais, in full on pompous ass mode here), but this is the first time he's taken a real shot at moviemaking, and the results are quite surprising. While the movie is plenty funny, with improvised hilarity from all the usual suspects. And the set up sounds like a classic: a teeny bit of online buzz overwhelms a tiny, shitty indie movie called Home for Purim, setting up massive, Oscar-baiting expectations where none should be.

I half expected the movie to shoot squarely in the direction of the hype merchants (like, uhhh...bloggers) who create outsized expectations, kill dreams, turn promising talent into flavor of the week flesh. Here's the thing: it sort of does the opposite. In this movie, there's no guiltier party than the unwitting victims, no sin greater than their own caustic vanity. And so this movie comes off as surprisingly, and daringly black at heart, depicting Hollywood as a vulgar, oozing, despicable thing. Catherine O'Hara, playing the well-named Marilyn Hack, turns in an awesome, even harrowing performance--she's just as ghoulish as Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream except she's hooked on a toxic mix of self-love, envy and neediness.

Self-delusion: it ain't pretty.

No comments: