« All the King's Missteps… | Main | Sorry to Keep you Waiting… »

September 11, 2006
Upon Further Consideration...

… I’m going to post more about the film I saw earlier today. I can understand my earlier entry may have left something lacking. It’s just that I was in a rush to drop in and out and, moreover, the film, though immensely enjoyable, isn’t the sort that really sticks with the viewer to the extent that “All the King’s Men” does, even though Guest’s film is a way more successful endeavour.

“For Your Consideration” simply starts on a studio lot where a low-key period piece – “Home for Purim” is being shot. The film within the film is absurd but nevertheless a melodramatic family drama that has serious undertones – such as an estranged daughter coming home to see her dying mother “for Purim”. This is all part of the (broader) film’s humour.

Guest himself plays the…director…of the movie and watching him and the on-screen cinematographer go at it is a hoot. Michael McKean and Bob Balaban play writers “just successful enough so that they can teach full-time”. Jennifer Coolidge, as a moronic producer, consistently gets some of the biggest laughs. These takes on industry staples are tremendously amusing to those who love film. (Eugene Levy’s agent is overdone, though).

But fundamentally this film is about the actors playing actors.

Catherine O’Hara, playing “Home for Purim”’s female lead, is a career actress who has never had the success she so obviously desires, being obsessed with her looking good as she ages. Harry Shearer plays the male lead of the film within the film. When Parker Posey arrives, playing the couple’s daughter, both “For Your Consideration” and “Home for Purim” truly pick up.

Early enough in the film, it is reported that someone has visited the set and has reported – on the internet (!) – that Catherine O’Hara’s Marylin Hack could be nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “Home for Purim”. The actress doesn’t let people forget this rumour.

Sure enough, buzz spreads and before long, O’Hara and Shearer end up on a morning entertainment news show (hosted by Fred Willard and Jane Lynch, hilariously aping the ET show hosts) and before long several actors are being ‘buzzed’ right up until nomination morning! As a result of this buzz, “Home for Purim” is compromised…the actors compromise themselves…and the absurdity of awards season is shown in its utmost hilarity.

I won’t go in to too many more plot details because, like most Guest movies, the film is short and I don’t want to spoil. There are many ways this film could have gone and while it eventually becomes predictable, it stays fresh and entertaining for a good long while.

Once nomination morning has come and gone, “For Your Consideration” begins to really flounder, going too over-the-top for its own good. And a character was very strangely omitted from the typical Guest coda.

Is this what awards watchers were truly hoping for? Probably not. It could have been better. But is it a worthy and entertaining effort that appropriately satirizes this crazy phenomenon? Absolutely.


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)