“For Your Consideration”, directed and co-written by Christopher Guest and co-written by Eugene Levy is a comedy based in Los Angeles about a bunch of washed up “C List” stars who find out there is internet Oscar buzz about the ridiculous movie “Home for Purim” they are currently filming. The buzz makes the actors and everyone else connected to the film lose their minds.
At the beginning of the film you enjoy and feel for the characters. They are weird but they a human and relatable. Washed up, has-beens, nobodies, we have all had those experiences. Riddled with insecurities they are funny but you like them and don’t want to laugh for fear of hurting the characters’ feelings. The first quarter of the movie makes you feel like you are standing on the lot, watching these things happen.
Catherine O’Hara plays Marilyn Hack, an actress who is far past her prime. Her feverish insecurities are amusing and sad. She constantly asks the lighting guy if she looks good, she wants her makeup to make her look younger and is always fishing for a compliment. Through out the movie she drops hints, fishes for assistance finding the mention and not so subtly drops the news that she has Oscar buzz. She stays completely in character, even when her character is acting. Her behavior is bizarre, and that is being kind. Even so, her performance is the silver lining around this twister cloud.
Harry Shearer plays Victor Allan Miller, an actor who thinks he is more important than his talent would merit. His Jerry Orbach smile makes him perfect for this role.
Parker Posey plays a beautiful, high strung, prima donna, playing a lesbian runaway come home to see her mother die. Sound good? It isn’t. Posey’s acting is fine, but the character makes you want to take a nun’s paddle and bash your own head deaf, blind or preferably, both.
The two writer characters, Lane Iverson played by Michael McKean and Philip Koontz Bob Balaban are completely unnecessary to this story. It is as if Guest felt bad that there were no roles already written into the story for his friends, so he wrote them their own characters. If you removed the writers from the story, it would speed up the story so we could get to the end faster (a plus) but wouldn’t take anything from the story. The McKean and Balaban seem to be just reading the script out loud, unaware that it isn’t dress rehearsal.
As each person gets more attention, the attention goes to their heads, virtually expanding in helium fashion, right in front of your eyes. Posey’s character spends the first half of the movie saying how much she doesn’t want one and loses her mind when she gets buzz mention.
The nothing movie gets attention from a local morning show and it seems as if the characters think it is Good Morning America. Whenever they are interviewed, the questions are rude, hurtful or just queer. I wondered if their mothers dropped them on their heads at birth or something.
As the film progresses, it gets more strange and less funny. The writing, which seems in the beginning to be heading to Funnytown takes a wrong turn and heads to Whatthehecksville. It didn’t feel like an exaggeration of what might actually happen; it feels adolescent. It becomes unbelievable and I was no longer able to be in the movie. I was sitting stationary in my chair but my eyes were rolling all over the theater.
The writing and editing in this movie feels like driving in a car with an eighty year old grandparent. It is a dodging, swerving, weaving, slow paced accident waiting to happen. Through the entire movie I wondered when I was going to be thrown through the windshield and my movie viewing brains splattered on the highway of film history.
Christopher Guest should seriously consider getting a different director for the movies he writes and in which he acts. The lack of oversight in editing and writing in this movie shows us what can happen when the entire pre-production is homogeneous.
Not only is it weird, but it is downright cruel at the end. “For Your Consideration” feels like a film posted by “A List” stars on YouTube to torment the “C Listers”.
This movie does not blow a goat, it in fact blows several goats. “For Your Consideration” is worth seeing if you are suicidal but unsure you can go through with it and need a little push over the edge or if you have someone to make out with.
Review by: LaRae Meadows