For Your Consideration
Rated PG-13; Directed by Christopher Guest; Starring Catherine O’Hara, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Christopher Guest, Jennifer Coolidge, Ricky Gervais, Jane Lynch, Fred Willard
One of the disadvantages of living in Flagstaff is the lack of movie theaters. Having only 11 screens means that some movies never show up, and we are forced to wait for the DVD. Watching trailers for films that look promising can lead to disappointment when the movie doesn’t open wide enough for Flagstaff. For Your Consideration never made it to Flagstaff, and it looked delicious. Luckily, the DVD is now in the video stores. With a subject matter about the ups and downs of vying for an Oscar© nomination it’s a little late now that the Academy Awards has come and gone, but the film still provides laughs.
Poor Marilyn Hack (Catherine O’Hara). She’s been an actress for years, but has never made it into the top tier of stardom. She’s never even made it into the fourth tier of stardom, still, she keeps working. While working in a cheap independent film called “Home for Purim,” Marilyn hears that she’s mentioned on a Hollywood gossip web site as a possible candidate for a Best Actress Oscar© nomination for her role as the dying mother. As the buzz builds, Marilyn and her fellow actors, played by Harry Shearer and Parker Posey, also get swept up in award fever.
Writers Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy have the easiest job in the world: come up with a scenario, map out the scenes, and then hand it over to the wonderful cast who improvise the rest. Along with O’Hara, Shearer, and Posey, there’s John Michael Higgins, Eugene Levy, Bob Balaban, Michael McKean, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, and the hilarious Fred Willard. Experts at the “mockumentary” genre – this group created “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show,” and “The Mighty Wind” – they’ve taken a more traditional format to tell the story of desperate actors.
Watching comic experts like Willard, Coolidge, and O’Hara have fun with their characters offers lots of laughs. They achieve heights of stupidity unimagined. Even British comic, Ricky Gervais, gets involved as the studio head. Though funny, the film does not achieve the magic found in the earlier films.
Making fun of the vapid TV entertainment news shows, desperate actors, inept publicity personnel, and everything to do with the worst of Hollywood, For Your Consideration remains genial while skewering the Hollywood business. Though not Christopher Guest’s greatest movie, it still keeps you grinning.