|A Mighty Wind|
From Levy and Guest's script outline, this fantastic ensemble improvises their characters brilliantly as ever. This film is more purely in a documentary style than Best in Show, and it plays completely straight. The humour is very dry, only occasionally absurd, and always extremely close to the bone as it both ridicules and eulogises a type of music that's often laughably silly. Guest weaves in home movies and record cover art that are so authentic they hurt! And the cast add telling details--hilarious bits of comedy that hit the target with deadly glee. Standouts include Lynch's clean-cut Singer, completely unashamed of her porn star past or her loony cult present;Coolidge's deliriously dim euro-pudding PR agent; Willard's has-been TV star moron; and of course the divine trio of McKean, Guest and Shearer, who should by law be required to make a movie together every year. And there are two big surprises: First, the music is extremely well-written and performed by the cast, complete with insanely complex folk arrangements--all of which really spring to life during the concert at the end, which they really performed live before an audience! And second, the film has a surprising emotional resonance in Mitch & Mickey's story, played to perfection by Levy and O'Hara in such a way that it's always both hilarious and moving. Inspired.
dir Christopher Guest|
scr Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy
with Bob Balaban, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch, Fred Willard, Parker Posey, Paul Dooley, Larry Miller, Jennifer Coolidge, Ed Begley Jr, Michael Hitchcock, Jim Piddock
release US 16.Apr.03; UK 16.Jan.04
Is this Spinal Tap? Shearer, McKean and Guest (above); Levy and O'hara (below).
|IndigoJen, Los Angeles: "I saw A Mighty Wind when it hit the theaters here in the US, and loved it. Not only did I find it hilarious, it was touching - especially the Mitch & Mickey storyline - and the music was well crafted. I also enjoyed watching Spinal Tap gone folk! The dvd came out a few months ago, and I bought it to add to my meager collection. I highly recommend it. There are lots of extras including scenes cut from the film, as well as separate song-videos performed by each group. And the commentary really gives an insight to the genius that makes these films so unique. Waiting for Guffman was good, Best in Show was better, and A Mighty Wind is best of all. Here's hoping Christopher Guest and friends keep making them!" (13.Jan.04)|