2 Sep 2013

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  08:30   RICKY GERVAIS

For Your Consideration Cover Now if you think all an actor has to do is pop-up in front of a camera and make something up as they go along, then sure, you're correct with your presumption. I saw it done in this very funny 83-minute film made in 2006, Directed by and Starring: Christopher Guest, with Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer, and Eugene Levy.


For Your Consideration


THE STORY:
According to its improvisational director, Jay Berman (Christopher Guest), 'Home for Purim', is a small Jewish themed wartime melodrama, involving a dying matriarch, plus a couple of lesbians. Furthermore, according to the... errr.... inter-web... hmm... thingy-mi-jig, one of the actors starring in this film, could also be up for an Oscar nomination too.

But wait a minute! Who do you suppose it might be? Surely not...

  • Marilyn Hack (Catherine O'Hara): Who plays the dying matriarch in question, and in this film is married to...
  • Victor Allan Miller (Harry Shearer): You know. That guy who stars in all of those silly television commercials. Plus keeps on moaning at his agent, Morley Orfkin (Eugene Levy), for some more film-work. Not unlike...
  • Brian Chubb and Callie Webb (Christopher Moynihan and Parker Posey): The on-screen brother and sister, and off-screen lovers. That love to say it like it is, similar to...
  • Lane Iverson and Bob Balaban (Michael McKean and Philip Koontz): Because they did write this flick in the first place don't you know. Handing it to...  
  • Whitney Taylor Brown (Jennifer Coolidge): ... to produces it, and then... and then... nah! Forget it. She has nice tits though.

Huh? What's that, dear reader? Who do you think the nominee really is?  Why, yes. That's correct. You got it in one. That actor is alleged to have been nominated for an Oscar. Plus two other actors in this piece as well. Thus causing all the cast to set forth onto a rollercoaster ride of television interviews, radio-spots, and other such promotional paraphernalia, thanks to the man with the cash, Martin Gibb (Ricky Gervais).

But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires all breaks a leg when Marilyn suddenly decides to have a face-lift. As actors have to act - the odds are eventually stacked - an Oscar is the bomb - and three months later, life just goes on.  




THE REVIEW:
Sometimes when I write one of my reviews, in my mind I riff off of the piece I'm currently writing about, just so I can engage with it on a more visceral level. You know. Just to connect, so to speak. And understand the thought processes behind said production, and work within the parameters it gives itself.

Catherine O'Hara in For Your Consideration
Granted, I know that this may sound like a very highfalutin thing to do. Yet, if you think about it for a moment or two, it's also very logical. Natural even. As it gives me -- the so-called film reviewer -- a system of working, and coming up with things that I may not normally think about.

Just take what I am writing now for instance. It's not everyday that I talk about my method of madness. It just doesn't normally come up when I'm writing a Hong Kong or Comedy critique. But I am. Now. As I type this piece of prose. What I'm feeling. And what I'm doing at this very moment.

But why am I doing this you may ask yourself? Well, to put it in layman's terms, dear reader, this is my way of summing up what I feel about 'For Your Consideration'.

You see, in my eyes it is a very natural movie, with a free-flowing framework that drifts and parries from scene to scene to scene, involving us -- the viewer -- to witness what is happening to the characters involved, in a rather comical and bold fashion.


John Krasinski, Jennifer Coolidge, and Ricky Gervais in For Your Consideration


OK, I have to admit, in places the overall plot can get lost within a sea of improvisation and televised segways. Nonetheless, thanks to a great all-star comic-cast, and a loose premise that's chock full of needy characters and desperation, this film does brilliantly in telling it like it is, whilst making all in sundry laugh like a loon in the process.

Yeah. I kid you not. This comedy is one great comedy. If you are a lover of Larry David, Woody Allen, and middle-aged women with big-tits, this is definitely one to watch. Moreover, you can't help but wonder what the heck is going to happen in this film from one moment to the next. Half the time I kept on mumbling to myself 'What the hell is going on?'. Whilst the rest of it, I mumbled such things as, 'Oh, No!', 'You're having me on?', 'What a yutz!', plus other phrases of this ilk.


Parker, Katherine, and Harry in For Your Consideration


Jane Lynch in For Your Consideration
But wait up. Before I praise 'For Your Consideration' any more, here, check out these filmic-facts. (1) 'Warner Independent Pictures' released this $12 million dollar production on the 17th of November, 2006, and clawed back $372 thousand dollars on its opening weekend. (2) Did you figure out what Sharon Stone prison-drama the studio-guard was referring to at the beginning of this flick? No. It wasn't 'Basic Instinct', silly. It was the 1996 yawn-tastic, 'Last Dance'. (3) The majority of this movie was made in Culver Studios, California, plus was shot in and around Hollywood, Malibu, and Beverly Boulevard. (4) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'Long Live Hollywood' in Germany; 'Nominees' in Spain; and 'Oscar - Desire' in Hungary. (5) For Catherine to achieve her apparent 'facelift' during the latter half of this film, all she had to do was stretch her face within takes. Ha! Now who needs special effects? (6) Coincidence or not? John Krasinski, who stars in the American version of 'The Office', and Ricky Gervais, who stars in the original British version of 'The Office', both have a role in this film. (7) All of the actors appearing in this Christopher Guest project, had to work off of a basic scene outline, and improvise within a two to three shot limit. Yep. No rehearsals for this slice of cinema. (8) For appearing in this comedy, Catherine O'Hara didn't only win the 'National Board of Review's Best Supporting Actress' award, but she was also nominated for an 'Independent Spirit Award', in the category of 'Best Female Lead'.


The Cast of For Your Consideration


Overall 'For Your Consideration' is one smashing film. It was funny in places. Engaging in other. And by in large has a free flowing and lucid structure that I personally can relate to on so many levels.

Nuff said.

THE RATING: A-

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